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Rangers 2, Angels 1

The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON -- The Texas Rangers won in walk-off fashion for the third consecutive night, sweeping the Los Angeles Angels on Adrian Beltre's line-drive home run in the ninth for a 2-1 win Wednesday night.

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) came into the game trailing Oakland by 5.0 games.

All three walk offs were courtesy of the long ball, with Beltre's blast off Michael Kohn following Geovany Soto and Leonys Martin in the first two games of the series. Los Angeles (48-58) had never before lost three straight games in walk-off fashion.

John 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.

Angels starter Jerome Williams was just as solid, working into the eighth before exiting 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 Jerome Williams with two outs in the second, but didn't do themselves any help on the bases. Texas had three runners thrown out through three innings.

The Rangers opened their half of the first with consecutive hits. Leonys 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 Ianetta.

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

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

Texas general manager Jon Daniels said before the game that upgrading the club offensively in August is still a focus, especially with the uncertain futures of Cruz and Lance Berkman. But for now, the team needs to rely on its arm.

"The strength of our club is the pitching staff," he said. "That's how we're built. We have to win a little different way, but if we can pitch and scratch our way to four runs a night, I like our chances. We hit a rough stretch, but we like our team and we like our chances."

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. LA was looking at selling assets in the midst of its 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 hasn't been nine games under .500 this late in a season since 1999. Los Angeles was 48-57 going into Wednesday.
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