Angels win a Texas shootout, 15-13 over Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Angels manager Mike Scioscia has made enough trips to Texas over the years to know there will be slugfests.
“It’s not a forgiving ballpark and they’ve got a good offensive club,” Scioscia said. “If you don’t make pitches, that scoreboard is going to tell you.”
The AL West champion Angels had their best offensive game of the season, and that was just enough for a 15-13 victory over the Rangers on Friday night.
Torii Hunter homered and drove in four runs while Kendry Morales and Mike Napoli hit back-to-back homers for Los Angeles, which set season highs for runs and hits (22). The Angels also overcame the highest-scoring inning against them in more than two years.
Los Angeles led 7-0 until the Rangers scored nine runs on nine hits in the bottom of the third. That was the most hits and runs in an inning against the Angels since May 19, 2006, when the Dodgers had 10 runs in one inning and 10 hits in another in a 16-3 victory.
“It was like they were up 2-0 with a lot of game left,” said Napoli, the Angels catcher. And he was serious.
The Angels (94-59), who clinched the division on Sept. 10 and are still the only major league team to secure a playoff spot, scored in each of the first five innings with multiple runs in four of them.
“We couldn’t stop the onslaught,” manager Ron Washington said.
It wasn’t even the highest-scoring AL game this season. That was the Rangers’ 19-17 loss at Boston on Aug. 12 after they gave up 10 runs in the first inning.
“You’d like to be on the winning side,” said Josh Hamilton, who had four of the Rangers’ 19 hits this time.
The 41 combined hits were the most in an AL game this season. Florida and Colorado had 43 hits on July 4.
“Balls found the holes for both sides,” Napoli said. “There were some seeing-eye singles.”
Except Napoli, who was 3-for-5, didn’t have one of those. His hits were a double, triple and a home run.
Garrett Anderson had four hits for the Angels, while Aybar and Teixeira, the former Ranger who was booed each time he came to the plate, had three each.
Hunter hit a three-run homer in the first. Morales and Napoli hit their homers in the third, with Napoli’s a 415-foot blast that cleared the seats in the lower deck in left.
Hank Blalock had a two-run double after Matthews’ error and Nelson Cruz followed with a two-run single to get the Rangers within 7-6. Then rookie Chris Davis hit a three-run homer, his 16th, to put the Rangers up 9-7 and chase Jon Garland.
It was the shortest start of the season for Garland, who allowed nine runs, eight earned, and 10 hits in 2 1-3 innings.
“I was surprised they got that far. That’s the way the ball carries here. There’s not much you can do about it,” Garland said. “I felt phenomenal coming out of the pen. But they hit the ball really well here at home and it showed up in the third inning.”
The first four Los Angeles batters in the fifth reached against reliever Jamey Wright (7-7), with Aybar the last hitter he faced.
Darren Oliver (6-1), the second of five Angels pitchers, allowed two runs and three hits over 2 1-3 innings. Scot Shields pitched the ninth for his third save despite allowing a leadoff homer to Cruz.
Bradley started for the first time since Saturday, and only the third time in 12 games, because of a sore left wrist and strained lower back. He was 0-for-5 with four strikeouts, the only starter for either team without a hit.
Hamilton is hitting .427 (26-of-61) in September. But the slugger has gone 11 games without an RBI and 15 without a homer. … Bradley entered as the AL leader with a .442 on-base percentage and second with a .324 average. He still needs 23 plate appearances the last eight games to qualify for the league leaders. … Davis has 39 combined homers in 150 games this season, including 13 in Double-A and 10 in Triple-A before being called up June 27.