Guerrero homered leading off the 11th inning Friday night to give the Los Angeles Angels a 2-1 victory over the Rangers.
Texas held Guerrero to a rare 0-for-4 in the series opener on Thursday night, snapping the outfielder’s streak of hitting safely in his first 24 career road games against the Rangers.
But with the game tied at 1 on Friday night, Guerrero lofted an 0-1 changeup from Frank Francisco (0-1) into the left field seats for his 29th homer of the season and 100th in his three years with the Angels.
“Vlad gave us a huge lift tonight with his home run,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Guerrero, who went 2-for-5, has 18 of his 334 career homers against Texas. Guerrero does not speak to the media.
“We held him in check for most of two nights, but he hurt us there at the end,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “There’s no one way to pitch him.”
Brendan Donnelly (5-0), returning after a four-game suspension, pitched two perfect innings for the victory. Donnelly was one of five players suspended for their parts in on-field beanball incidents in games between the Angels and Rangers on Aug. 15-16.
The Angels moved within 6 1/2 games of Minnesota in the AL wild-card race as the Twins lost 5-4 to Cleveland in 10 innings.
Guerrero’s homer was the only hit Francisco allowed in his one inning.
The Rangers tied it in the bottom of the inning on Hank Blalock’s RBI double. Carlos Lee doubled with two outs off Francisco Rodriguez, the major league saves leader with 42. Blalock’s double handed Rodriguez his fourth blown save of the season.
Rodriguez had a streak of 30 scoreless innings snapped.
“It’s going to happen,” Angels rookie starter Jered Weaver said of Rodriguez’s blown save. “He’s human. But he’ll bounce back.”
Weaver took a no-hitter into the sixth inning but Gary Matthews Jr. broke it up with a one-out double. Weaver, who allowed just the one hit in seven innings, matched a career high with nine strikeouts.
The Angels have won 10 of their last 13, but their offense continues to struggle. Los Angeles has scored four runs or less in each of its last eight games.
“Jered pitched a terrific game,” Scoscia said. “That lineup is very tough. We’ve pitched some of the best baseball we’ve pitched all year. We just need to support the pitchers with a little offense.”
Texas starter Robinson Tejeda allowed five hits in seven innings and struck out four.
Tejeda has pitched into the seventh in each of his last three starts, sending signs to the Rangers’ front office that he can compete for a rotation spot next season.
“I had a great game but I’m disappointed we didn’t win,” Tejeda said. “I need to keep doing what I’m doing and keep getting better for next year.”
Matthews’ double was the Rangers’ 331st this season, breaking the club record of 330 set in 2000.
Scoscia got his 600th victory with the Angels. … Weaver won his first nine decisions after he was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on June 30, but is 2-2 in his last five starts. … Nelson Cruz had a 12-pitch battle with Weaver in the sixth before flying out. Matthews, the next batter, broke up the no-hitter. “That was a big reason we got back in it, that at-bat,” Showalter said. … Weaver also had nine strikeouts on July 3, in a win over Seattle. … Texas shortstop Michael Young went 0-for-5, leaving him three hits short of his fourth straight season with 200.