Rangers 1, Angels 0

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Fighting to stay in contention, the Texas Rangers knocked the Anaheim Angels down a notch.

Rookie Chris Young held the Angels to five hits in six-plus innings, and Kevin Mench singled in the only run Sunday as the Rangers beat the suddenly punchless Angels 1-0.

Shut out by the Rangers for the second day in a row, the Angels fell three games behind AL West-leading Oakland and remained five back of Boston in the wild-card race.

Texas stayed five games back of the Athletics.

“You could tell when we came in here after the Oakland series, we weren’t going to fold the tent,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said after his team took two of three following a four-game split against the Athletics.

“We’ve been in two venues that have been tough for a visiting club, and we handled it well. We’re giving ourselves a chance. We’ve won seven out of 10, and it seems like we’re a day away from people throwing sand on us.”

The Rangers’ latest win came a day after they used seven pitchers in a 2-0 victory over the Angels, who lead the major leagues in hitting at .285. Anaheim has been shut out 10 times this season—three in the last five games.

“Obviously, it’s not a good time for our bats to go silent,” Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia said. `Everybody’s tired in the whole league, everybody’s banged up in the whole league. We’ve got guys who are tired and banged up. But since we’re down to 13 games left, I don’t think it’s a time of year to give in to that.”

It’s the first time since Sept. 28-29, 1992, against Kansas City that the Angels were shut out by the same team in consecutive home games. It also was the first time since 1989 that the Rangers recorded consecutive shutouts on the road against the same opponent. The Angels also were on the losing end that time.

Jarrod Washburn (11-8) held the Rangers to an unearned run in eight innings, allowing Mench’s single in the fourth after right fielder Vladimir Guerrero dropped Hank Blalock’s leadoff fly ball for a two-base error.

“Earlier this season, our pitchers weren’t pitching well and our offense was going good,” Washburn said. “Now our offense is in a slump. But I know they will come out of it.”

Young (2-2), making just his fifth major league start, struck out four and walked none. In his previous start, he gave up six runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings during a 7-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

“I had a good fastball, good location and good command, and I was able to go from there,” Young said. “It’s fun to be pitching in meaningful games this time of year.”

Carlos Almanzar, Brian Shouse and Francisco Cordero blanked the Angels the rest of the way for the Rangers’ eighth shutout of the year. Cordero got his 46th save in 50 chances.

Almanzar, pitching while his five-game suspension for his role in last week’s fight with fans at Oakland is under appeal, was ejected in the eighth.

With two outs and none on, Almanzar raised his arms and yelled at plate umpire Ed Rapuano after falling behind 3-0 in the count against David Eckstein. Rapuano walked toward the mound, Almanzar continued to jaw at him, and the umpire tossed him.

“I’ve known Eddie for a long time, and he’s one of the best umpires in baseball,” Showalter said. “I’m sure he felt like Carlos crossed over the line and he thought it was warranted in that situation, but Carlos wasn’t going to face the next hitter, anyway. Fortunately, Brian got a big out for us.”

Notes

Texas 2B Alfonso Soriano had his injured left hamstring examined Sunday and is expected to be out at least another week. … Anaheim previously was shut out by the same team in consecutive games Sept. 18-19, 2001, at Seattle. … Texas purchased the contracts of OF Chad Allen and RHP Kameron Loe from Triple-A Oklahoma, and Allen started in left field and went 1-for-3. To make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Juan Dominguez was placed on the 60-day DL with a sore right knee and LHP Sam Narron was designated for assignment. … Anaheim CF Garret Anderson, who had missed two starts because of tendinitis in his left knee, went 0-for-4 as the DH.

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