Vlad The Impaler: Guerrero's Two Home Runs Power Rangers Over Angels

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Guerrero Leads Rangers Over Old Mates

Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) – Vladimir Guerrero continued to torment his old team, going 4-for-4 with two homers and five RBI, as the Texas Rangers evened this three-game set with a 6-4 win over the rival Angels.

Guerrero, who spent the last six seasons with the Angels, has had a huge year for the Rangers and now has three home runs and eight RBI in the first two games of this series alone. He has already eclipsed last season’s home run total with his 17th and 18th of 2010 and has been one of the most productive players in the American League.

It was the third multi-homer game of the season for Guerrero and the 42nd of his career. The Rangers have now won 14 of 16 overall and will look for their franchise-record ninth straight series win in the rubber match on Thursday.

Dustin Nippert (3-3) recorded the win after allowing one run in three innings, and Neftali Feliz notched his 21st save of the season. Meanwhile, Josh Hamilton’s career-best hit streak increased to 23 with a 1-for-3 effort.

Erick Aybar homered and drove in two runs for the Angels, who still managed to finish June with an excellent 18-9 mark. Scott Kazmir (7-7) struggled in losing his second straight start, giving up five runs, six hits and a walk in just 4 2/3 innings.

The Rangers trailed by three entering the fourth, but one swing of the bat from Guerrero put Texas ahead for good.

Kazmir got in some trouble when he hit leadoff hitter Elvis Andrus, and Michael Young followed with a double. After Ian Kinsler walked on a full count, Guerrero came up and crushed a 2-0 pitch over the wall in center for a grand slam and a 4-3 Rangers advantage.

In the fifth, Andrus laced a one-out single, moved to second on a groundout and scored on Kinsler’s base hit, which ended Kazmir’s outing.

The Angels looked to get back into the game in the sixth, trimming their deficit to one on Aybar’s RBI groundout. LA nearly tied it, as Howie Kendrick and Bobby Abrey followed with consecutive two-out singles and executed a double steal, but Torii Hunter lined out to end the inning.

Guerrero, though, gave the Rangers some breathing room again with his second home run of the game — a solo shot — to deep center leading off the eighth.

The Angels never brought the tying run to the plate in either of the final two innings.

Omar Beltre, making his major league debut in a spot start for Texas, ran into some trouble rather quickly, as he allowed a home run to the first batter he faced in the majors — Los Angeles’ Aybar. The Angels tacked on two more runs in the second on a two-run single from Reggie Willits for a 3-0 advantage.

The Rangers finished June 21-6, and the .778 winning percentage is the highest for a single month in franchise history…Texas leads the season series, 3-1…Hamilton finished the month with a franchise record 49 hits, nine homers and 31 RBI…Beltre finished the game allowing three runs, five hits and four walks while fanning six in four innings…Angels third baseman Kevin Frandsen went four plate appearances without striking out and has now struck out just once over his last 89 PAs…Guerrero has 68 RBI this season, tied for the most in the majors with Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera, and he hit his seventh career grand slam.

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Molina Deal Update, Plus Angels & Rangers Lineups

Scott Boeck of USA Today reported the Rangers sent reliever Chris Ray and a player to be named later for Bengie Molina. The move of Ray opens up a roster spot for Omar Beltre, making his major league debut for Texas.

Here are tonight’s lineups:

Rangers
Elvis Andrus SS
Michael Young 3B
Ian Kinsler 2B
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Josh Hamilton LF
Nelson Cruz RF
Justin Smoak 1B
Max Ramirez C
Julio Borbon CF
Omar Beltre P

Angels
Erick Aybar SS
Howie Kendrick 2B
Bobby Abreu RF
Torii Hunter CF
Hideki Matsui DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Kevin Frandsen 3B
Bobby Wilson C
Reggie Willits LF
Scott Kazmir P

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Rangers Reportedly Close To Acquiring Bengie Molina

The Rangers and Giants are reportedly close to making a deal that would send catcher Bengie Molina from San Francisco to Texas. Per Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:

The San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers are in serious talks about a trade that would send veteran catcher Bengie Molina to Texas, multiple sources told FOXSports.com.

One source indicated that the deal could be consummated within the next 24 hours.

A roster move has not yet been made to make room for Omar Beltre, tonight’s starting pitcher. Adam J. Morris of Lone Star Ball speculates the following:

One possibility would be a Molina for Dustin Nippert deal, which would free up a roster spot immediately that could be used for Beltre, since I don’t believe that Molina has to be added to the 25 man roster until he officially reports.

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Angels Look To Move Closer To Rangers

 

(Sports Network) - The desire to give starter Colby Lewis some extra days of rest has led to a debut that Omar Beltre probably feels like he has been waiting forever for.

Beltre is expected to be recalled from Triple-A to make the start tonight for the Texas Rangers, who continue a three-game series with the hosting Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Beltre's promotion will complete a long road to the majors for the 28-year-old native of the Dominican Republic that was delayed five years due to visa problems.

Texas signed Beltre back in 2000, but he was denied a visa into the United States from 2005-09 because of his involvement in a marriage fraud scandal in his native country. He was finally approved for a visa in February of this year and was able to pitch in spring training. He began the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City and went 0-5 with two saves and a 2.39 earned run average in 15 games (five starts).

"It's been a special thing that's happened to me," Beltre told Texas' website. "I worked really hard, and I'm happy it happened. When you work hard you get good results, and I've been working hard, and this is the fruit of it."

The right-hander is taking the place of Lewis, who is having his start pushed back two days for some extra rest.

Beltre will be trying to draw the Rangers even with the Angels in this series after Los Angeles took last night's opener, 6-5. Bobby Abreu had the big blow for the Angels as he connected on a two-out, three-run double in the sixth inning, when Texas turned a one-run deficit into a lead it would not give up.

"We had them in a two-out situation in the sixth but we couldn't hold them," said Texas manager Ron Washington.

Former Angel Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to pull the Rangers within one, but Texas could not complete the comeback and fell to 2-2 since an 11-game winning streak.

Ian Kinsler also homered in the losing effort, while Josh Hamilton went 1- for-5 and extended his career-best hitting streak to 22 games. Hamilton is hitting .462 (42-for-91) over his surge with nine homers and 29 RBI, and he also set a club record for the most hits in a month with 48.

Mike Napoli homered while Howie Kendrick and Jeff Mathis both notched an RBI in the victory, the Angels' eighth in their last 11 games, moving them within 3 1/2 games of the first-place Rangers in the American League West. Joel Pineiro won his fifth straight start and yielded three runs on eight hits over six innings.

"I didn't have my best command tonight, but we got some big outs when we needed them," said Pineiro.

The Angels' Scott Kazmir will look to rebound tonight after having his four- start winning streak broken last time out.

The 26-year-old lefty pitched to a 2.35 ERA over his win streak, but was drilled for five runs on six hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings of a 10-6 setback to the Dodgers on Thursday. Kazmir fell to 7-6 on the season with a 5.42 ERA.

Kazmir lost to the Rangers on May 17, giving up four runs over seven innings, but is still a solid 6-2 versus them lifetime with a 2.37 ERA in 11 starts.

The Rangers swept a brief two-game series in Texas over the Angels on May 17-18 and split the 10 meetings in Anaheim a season ago.

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