Rangers 12, Angels 3
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Gerald Laird left 50 tickets at the Edison Field gate for family and friends, then gave them something to cheer about.
“Everybody came back because they knew I was going to play today,” said Laird, from nearby Garden Grove. “My dad said, “It would be nice to hit one out here today, huh? Just pretend you’re playing in your backyard.’ I came here as a kid watching games here, and it’s just a great time and place to hit my first home run. Hopefully there’s many more.”
Laird, who set a club record two weeks ago by hitting safely in each of his first eight big league games, snapped a 1-all tie in the fourth when he drove a 2-2 pitch by Ramon Ortiz over the outstretched glove of center fielder Chone Figgins as he leaped at the fence. The homer ended the rookie’s 0-for-20 drought.
“I’d been having some rough at-bats, but it’s not like I wasn’t facing good pitching,” Laird said. “I faced Barry Zito twice, Tim Hudson and Jamie Moyer. All those guys in our division are tough. But today I just told myself, `You’re facing a good pitcher today, but you’re at home. So but just go out there and just have fun, recognize the pitch and put a good swing on it.’
“I’m just glad Figgins didn’t bring it back.”
Colby Lewis (10-9) won his fourth straight decision over five starts, allowing three runs and seven hits in five-plus innings and finishing up with a 7.30 ERA. The 24-year-old right-hander, who was promoted from Triple-A Oklahoma on July 26, became the seventh Rangers rookie to win at least 10 games and the first since Danny Patterson went 10-6 in 1997
“I certainly like seeing him finish this way, as opposed to where he was at various times this year,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He has to go home and understand what being a major league starting pitcher is all about.”
The Angels, riding the crest last season’s World Series title, reached the 3-million mark in home attendance for the first time in the franchise’s 43-year history. Their 24th sellout crowd pushed the total to 3,018,296, making Anaheim the 17th different franchise to reach that figure, and seventh in the AL.
“Obviously, we didn’t give them a very good product on the field to watch this season, but they just kept coming out,” pitcher Jarrod Washburn said. “And that was important to us. Hopefully, they continue to do that next year, because we’re going to give them a lot better show.”
Ortiz (16-12) allowed three runs and seven hits over five innings, including RBI singles by Palmeiro and Christenson. The right-hander led the Angels’ staff in wins and starts, finishing his third full big league season with a 5.20 ERA.
Leading 3-2, the Rangers broke the game open with a four-run sixth against Greg Jones and a five-run seventh against Gary Glover. Laird triggered the sixth-inning rally with a leadoff bunt single and scored on Clark’s infield hit.
Jones hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch above the left elbow two outs later, loading the bases and prompting a warning to both dugouts from plate umpire Larry Young. Palmeiro followed with a three-run double that increased his RBI total to 111.
Lewis forced in a run in the third with consecutive walks to Garret Anderson and Scott Spiezio after giving up a two-out double to Chone Figgins and hitting Adam Kennedy with a pitch. Kennedy was replaced at second base by Wilson Delgado in the fourth and taken for precautionary X-rays, which revealed anon-displaced fracture.
The 18 hits allowed by the Angels matched a season-worst, set on April 22 in an 8-3 loss to the Yankees at Edison Field. … Texas batters have been hit by 74 pitches, one shy of the club record set in 2001. … Sunday will mark the 25th anniversary of the shooting death of Angels OF Lyman Bostock in Gary, Ind., which occurred while the team was on a road trip to Chicago. … Lewiswas 7-1 in nine starts against the AL West.