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Beltre gives Texas another walk-off win

The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers have never had a stretch like this. Same goes for the Los Angeles Angels.

Texas won with a walk-off home run for the third consecutive night, something never before done by the franchise. As one might imagine, the Angels have never lost three straight games in such a fashion.

Adrian Beltre had the honors Wednesday night, drilling a 2-2 offering from Michael Kohn into the seats in left field for a 2-1 victory at Rangers Ballpark.

Beltre's blast followed game-winning shots from Geovany Soto and Leonys Martin in the first two games of the series. Like Soto and Martin, Beltre was mobbed at the plate after rounding the bases.

"I was looking to put a swing on the ball," Beltre said of his 23rd homer. "I was lucky to get it out."

The three-game sweep at Rangers Ballpark could be the kick-start the Rangers need to get back in the American League West race. Texas (59-49) is trailing first-place Oakland by four games.

"It's overwhelming," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of series' dramatics. "We just kept battling. When we're at our best, this is what you get. Not three walk-off home runs, but different people getting it done."

Los Angeles (48-58) has lost six in a row and finished the trip 1-6. The Angels were leading the first two games of this series in the late innings.

"We could have been 7-0 on this trip," manager Mike Scioscia said. "A lot of games were there for us. At times we lost leads and at times we didn't get things done."

Josh Hamilton tied the game at 1-1 with a mammoth 422-foot blast to center in the seventh off Martin Perez. Hamilton's 16th homer was only the third hit of the game for the Angels.

Perez was pulled after 7 1/3 innings, allowing just that one run. It ended a stretch of allowing at least four earned runs in three consecutive starts.

"He had good stuff," Scioscia said. "He was working both sides of the plate."

Angels starter Jerome Williams was just as solid, working into the eighth before leaving with two out and two on. Kohn came on and got Ian Kinsler to end the threat.

The Rangers took the early lead on Nelson Cruz's 25th home run, a solo shot to left off Williams with two outs in the second, but they didn't help themselves on the bases. Texas had three runners thrown out through three innings.

The Rangers opened their half of the first with consecutive hits. Martin had a bunt single to start it but was thrown out at third by right fielder Collin Cowgill on Elvis Andrus' bloop single. Andrus was picked off at first on a snap throw by catcher Chris Iannetta.

Iannetta got Soto in the third inning after straying too far from second. The miscues likely cost the Rangers a couple of runs.

Perez didn't seem to mind. The lefty blanked the Angels through five innings, allowing just two hits and striking out four.

NOTES: The non-waiver trade deadline came and went without the Rangers making a move. Texas was in the market for an impact bat and, despite numerous rumors, nothing materialized. ... Los Angeles made a move Tuesday night, dealing INF Alberto Callaspo to Oakland for Triple-A INF Grant Green. The move saves the Angels about $6 million. The Angels were looking at selling assets in the midst of their lost season. ... Texas' 14-11 win Tuesday was the first time the Rangers won when allowing at least 11 runs since May 6, 2010, against Kansas City (13-12). The Angels lost for just the second time ever when scoring at least 11 with 16 hits. ... Thursday's game with Arizona marks just the second one-game makeup date in Rangers Ballpark history. ... The Angels haven't been nine games under .500 this late in a season since 1999.
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