Sports Network | June 30, 2010
Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) – Bobby Abreu’s bases-clearing double in the sixth inning lifted the Angels to a 6-5 win over the Texas Rangers in the opener of a key three-game series in the AL West.
Erick Aybar scored two runs for the Angels, who have won eight of their last 11 games overall and moved within 3 1/2 games of the first-place Rangers in the division race. Mike Napoli homered while Howie Kendrick and Jeff Mathis both notched an RBI in the victory.
Joel Pineiro won his fifth straight start and yielded three runs on eight hits over six innings. Pineiro (8-6) also struck out four batters and walked two.
“I didn’t have my best command tonight, but we got some big outs when we needed them,” said Pineiro.
Former Angel Vladimir Guerrero returned to his old stomping grounds and homered with three RBI for Texas, which fell to 2-2 on the heels of an 11-game win 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.
Scott Feldman started on the hill for Texas and suffered the loss. Feldman (5-7) allowed five runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings pitched.
The Angels came to bat in the sixth trailing by one. After a Mathis RBI single scored Kevin Frandsen to tie the score, Aybar singled and Kendrick drew a walk off Texas reliever Darren Oliver to load the bases. That brought Abreu to the plate and the veteran ripped a double down the right-field line as all three runners scored for a 6-3 Angels advantage.
“We had them in a two-out situation in the sixth but we couldn’t hold them,” said Texas manager Ron Washington.
Guerrero’s two-run blast in the seventh drew the visitors within one. Michael Young’s infield single preceded Guerrero’s 16th homer of the year, a towering shot to center field.
Texas had the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth, but Angels reliever Fernando Rodney got Young to ground out.
Closer Brian Fuentes worked a perfect ninth for his 14th save of 2010.
After Kinsler’s solo homer in the top of the first opened the scoring, the Angels tied it in the bottom half of the frame on Kendrick’s RBI single.
The top of the third inning saw the Rangers grab the lead. Elvis Andrus singled leading off, moved to third on a base hit by Kinsler and scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Guerrero.
With one out in the home fourth, Napoli’s 14th home run of the season — a solo blast that cleared the wall in left field — knotted the contest.
A grounder off the bat of Hamilton in the fifth made it 3-2 in favor of Texas. Young singled, stole second, made it to third on a grounder by Guerrero and came home when Hamilton reached on a fielder’s choice.
This setback snapped the Rangers’ eight-game road win streak…This was the 12th consecutive game in which the Rangers have scored at least four runs…Pineiro improved to 8-6 for his career against Texas…The Rangers outhit the Angels, 12-11…Both teams stranded nine runners.
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