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Late blown leads prevent Angels' third straight win over Rangers

The SportsXchange

The Los Angeles Angels were close enough to feel it.

Twice in Wednesday night's game, they were within two outs of closing out a third consecutive victory over the first-place Rangers. That would have moved the Angels within two games of Texas, their thinnest margin since April 11, just five games into the season.

But Ernesto Frieri blew his first save as an Angel in the ninth inning -- then did it again in the 10th as the Rangers rallied from six runs down to beat the Angels 11-10 in a major momentum reversal in the AL West race.

"It was a great game on both sides," Angels veteran Torii Hunter said. "They got to our closer. We got to theirs.

"A lot of fun all around. But at the same time -- broke my heart."

The Angels led 7-1 after four innings and handed Frieri a 7-6 lead in the ninth. Frieri gave up a home run to Ian Kinsler to tie the game.

In the 10th, the Angels got home runs from Chris Iannetta and Albert Pujols to take a three-run lead -- only to watch the Rangers score four times off Frieri and Jason Isringhausen in the bottom of the 10th.

"You're going to have 10 wins a year that are exhilarating where you come back and you win," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You're going to have 10 tough losses, and this is obviously one that we had the opportunity to hold a lead. Give those guys credit. They got six runs off our bullpen, and we've been doing a good job of protecting leads. We didn't get it done tonight. Tomorrow we'll go out there and hopefully get it done."

The loss dropped the Angels to four games back again in the AL West race.
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