ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Brad Fullmer isn’t happy with the way he’s swinging the bat. Now neither is his former team.
“It’s always nice to come through with men in scoring position,” Fullmer said, downplaying the significance of beating his old teammates. “I’m just trying to battle and keep my head above water until I get my timing stuff straightened out.”
Fullmer wasn’t in the starting lineup against left-hander Jarrod Washburn (1-1), but came on with two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth to face Ben Weber. His hit into the right-center field gap cleared the bases and put the Rangers up 7-3.
“He came out ready to hit,” said Michael Young, the first across the plate. “He’s pumped up to come up with the bases loaded in a situation he can do some damage.”
And he did, with runs that proved valuable when the Angels scored twice in the ninth against closer Francisco Cordero before he was able to wrap up his second save.
Hank Blalock was 3-for-5 with a go-ahead two-run single before Fullmer’s big blow, and finished the four-game series with 10 hits.
Fullmer spent the last two seasons in Anaheim, playing for the World Series champion in 2002 before last season ended in June because of a ruptured tendon in his right knee. The Angels didn’t offer him a new contract, and he signed with Texas in December.
“It’s a long season, you don’t want to put too much emphasis on one particular game or one particular team,” Fullmer said. “You just have to bring it every day, no matter who you’re facing.”
Fullmer started five of the first six games as the designated hitter and was hitting .235. In 193 games over two seasons in Anaheim, he was a .294 hitter.
“Brad was an easy guy to write in there,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s a professional hitter.”
After Weber replaced Washburn with two on and one out in the sixth, Young reached on an infield single—a grounder that third baseman Shane Halter made a backhanded diving stop of behind the base.
Instead of trying to get to the bag for a forceout, Halter scrambled to his feet and threw to second late. Blalock then singled for a 4-3 lead and Fullmer delivered the decisive blow.
The Angels twice came from behind against Lewis, who walked five and allowed five hits in five innings. He threw 47 balls and 47 strikes.
Anaheim tied the game 1-1 without a hit in the second. After the bases were loaded on two walks and a hit batter, Jose Guillen scored on a double play grounder.
David Eckstein walked to start the third and scored on Darin Erstad’s double to tie the game at 2. Halter led off the fourth with a double and scored on a single by Jose Molina for a 3-2 Anaheim lead.
Halter was in the lineup for Troy Glaus, held out with a tweaked left hamstring he hurt when he slipped in mud running bases Sunday. Halter also hit an RBI single in the eighth.
Washburn allowed four runs on eight hits over 5 1-3 innings. Weber allowed three runs on three hits and a walk while getting just two outs.
“I thought I made great pitches all night,” Washburn said. “No hit in my mind was a mistake. They did a good job. They’re no pushovers.”
Kevin Mench was 2-for-4 with a run scored for Texas and is 11-for-24 in six games.
After playing their first seven games on the road, the Angels play their 39th home opener in Anaheim on Tuesday night. It will be the last home opener in the majors, after the Chicago White Sox play their first home game during the day.
The Angels’ nine-game homestand at newly named Angel Stadium of Anaheimbegins against Seattle.
Lewis has a five-game winning streak and a 4.28 ERA (19 earned runs in 40 innings) over his last seven starts. … Texas took three of the four games against Anaheim. … Washburn dropped from first to a second-place tie for best career winning percentage by Angels pitchers with at least 50 decisions. At 57-42 (.576), he dropped below Bert Blyleven (33-24, .579) with Frank Tanana(102-75, .576).