ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers had 12 hits -- all singles -- and stole six bases Tuesday night in an 8-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. But don't call it small ball.
"I call it playing baseball," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "You all call it small ball, I call it winning baseball. What's the difference between small ball and winning baseball? We play winning baseball."
It just so happens that one day after losing Nelson Cruz -- their home run and RBI leader -- to a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy, the Rangers didn't mix in an extra-base hit.
"I don't think they're thinking about that," Washington said of his players. "I think the only thing they're thinking about is trying to have good at-bats and whatever happens, happens. We just happened to run some singles together to get it done."
Adrian Beltre's ground-ball single through a drawn-in infield in the top of the eighth inning drove home Elvis Andrus with the tiebreaking run in what was a close game until the ninth.
Andrus singled and stole second base with one out in a 3-3 game, bringing up Beltre to face Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen (1-3). The Angels moved the infield in, but Beltre's sharp grounder went past diving second baseman Grant Green and into right field, scoring Andrus.
The Rangers added four insurance runs in the ninth to put the game away.
The victory moved the Rangers (64-50) within one game of the first-place Oakland A's in the American League West. The Angels (51-610 remained 13 back in the division and fell 12 behind Texas for the second AL wild-card spot.
Rangers starter Yu Darvish (11-5) was far from his best, especially early. The first two Angels hitters of the game -- Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout -- hit home runs. However, Darvish settled in, went seven innings and got the victory. He gave up three runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out six, improving to 3-0 in three starts against the Angels this year.
The Rangers ran successfully on the Angels' pitchers and catcher Chris Iannetta, going 6-for-7 on stolen-base attempts and also advancing on three wild pitches. Leonys Martin had three stolen bases, and Andrus had two to go along with his three hits.
"A lot of times when you use aggression, you make mistakes, but I certainly won't take that away from them, and tonight it came together," Washington said. "That's the type of game we used to play, and I want us to continue to play it. ...
"Raising hell on the basepaths is something we always want to do, even if Cruz was here. If Cruz was here tonight, the same thing would have happened. Our game is what it is, and we're not going to change it."
After the game, Angels manager Mike Scioscia held a closed-door meeting with his team, then blamed the stolen bases on the pitchers' inability to keep the baserunners close.
"This is not on Chris (Iannetta) at all, Chris is throwing the ball well," said Scioscia, a former major league catcher. "This is about the inability of some of our pitchers to make the adjustments they need to make. And the reality of it is, if this is going to become instructional league, we're going to have to make some changes, because guys up here should be able to do a better job."
The Rangers stole three bases on Angels starter Garrett Richards, but Scioscia said Richards has made improvements holding runners. The Rangers stole one base each off relievers Jepsen, Nick Maronde and Ernesto Frieri in the eighth and ninth innings.
Richards gave up three runs on six hits and one walk in six innings.
NOTES: Angels 2B Howie Kendrick was diagnosed with a sprained left knee, one day after he was hurt in a collision with RF Collin Cowgill. Kendrick was not placed on the disabled list but is expected to miss at least four or five games. ... Green was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake and started the game, and he got his first career major league hit with a second-inning single. Green was acquired in the July 30 trade that sent INF Alberto Callaspo to the A's. ... Rangers RHP Colby Lewis, out all season trying to recover from Tommy John surgery performed in July 2012, will have surgery on his right hip to remove bone spurs. He will miss the rest of the season and will become a free agent at the end of the season, but he said he'd like to re-sign with the Rangers.