Rangers stay alive for playoffs

Art Garcia, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's down to one game and the Texas Rangers still have life.
Texas ran its winning streak to six on its season-ending homestand with a 7-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday at Rangers Ballpark.
Texas (90-71) came into the day one game behind both Tampa Bay and Cleveland in the race for the American League's two wild-card spots.
"We are fighting to the end and hoping," Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said.
Texas ace Yu Darvish is on the mound against the Angels for the final game Sunday afternoon.
"It gives me a tremendous amount of confidence," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We believe in Yu Darvish. We just want him to do what the other pitchers have been doing, just keep us in the ballgame."
Whether the Rangers play make the playoffs be decided with game No. 162. Texas is trying to salvage a miserable month that saw it fall from the AL West lead and then make a mad dash to the finish.
"They've showed strength," Washington said of his players. "They've showed fight. They've showed desire. They've showed heart.
"Every adjective you can find to describe it, that's what they've shown."
The Angels (78-83) were active participants in Texas' latest win, with five errors leading to four unearned runs.
"You can't sugarcoat the way we've played defensively," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It was brutal. Just silly mistakes and it cost us."
Every Rangers starter had at least one hit. Ian Kinsler scored twice. Joakim Soria (1-0) picked up the win in relief. Joe Nathan saved his 43rd game.
Neither starting pitcher was sharp on a day with intermittent rain that ended in a downpour. Despite being staked to a 5-1 lead, Texas' Derek Holland couldn't make it out of the fifth.
The lefty was chased after giving up four runs on eight hits, including four doubles, in 4 2/3 innings. Holland has failed to go five innings in three of his six September starts.
The Rangers' bullpen didn't allow a run in finishing out the last 4 1/3 innings.
Los Angeles starter Garrett Richards (7-8) lasted 4 1/3 innings, giving up six runs (three earned) on six hits. He also threw two wild pitches.
"A little erratic," Scioscia said. "He didn't seem like he was in sync."
The Angels' Erick Aybar opened the game with a double to left-center off Holland and scored two batters later on Mike Trout's sacrifice fly to center.
The Rangers answered with a run in the first and four in the second, taking advantage of three errors and a wild pitch to go up 5-1.
Kinsler singled to lead off the first as the rain began to fall. He advanced on Richards' wild pitch and Elvis Andrus' sacrifice bunt. Kinsler tied the game 1-1 when Alex Rios' ground ball squirted through third baseman Andrew Romine's legs.
Two throwing errors in the second led directly to two runs. Kinsler drilled a ball back up the middle off Richards' right side and Richards, obviously stunned, picked up the ball and short-armed it wide of first, allowing Craig Gentry to score.
Andrus followed with a hard grounder to short. Aybar dove to stop it, but he threw the ball over second baseman Grant Green's head, and David Murphy scored. Richards' wild pitch plated Andrus, giving the Rangers a 5-1 lead.
NOTES: Crew chief Ted Barrett shot down C.J. Wilson's allegation that some baseballs used Friday were straight out of the box. "They were all rubbed with mud," Barrett said. ... Texas has won 90 games for a franchise-high four straight seasons and the seventh time in club history. ... The Angels are 32-43 in the AL West, their most division losses since going 17-41 in 2001. ... Texas' six-game home winning streak is the club's longest since a seven-game run in 2011. ... The Rangers have stolen a base in a club-record 10 consecutive games. ... The 11:07 AM CT first pitch was the earliest start ever for a major league game in Arlington.

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