Arlington, TX (Sports Network) – Josh Hamilton went 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBI and Tommy Hunter stayed undefeated on the year, as Texas pulled out a 6-4 victory over the American League West rival Angels.
The Angels made big news on Sunday by acquiring three-time All-Star pitcher Dan Haren from the Arizona Diamondbacks, but it was the Rangers that did their talking on their field by taking three of four in the series to increase their division lead to seven games.
Hunter (8-0) lasted 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits for Texas, while Nelson Cruz and Michael Young each had two hits and an RBI.
Torii Hunter and Hideki Matsui each homered, while Trevor Bell (1-2), making his first start of the season and fifth of his career, surrendered four runs on eight hits and two walks in just 3 1/3 innings for the Angels, who have lost four of their last five overall.
Hamilton came up with two on in the first inning and sent a gapper to right that plated Young and Ian Kinsler for the early lead.
Torii Hunter took Tommy Hunter deep leading off the next inning, but the latter set down 15 of the next 16 batters as his offense built a 6-1 edge.
Hamilton drove home Kinsler again with an opposite-field base hit in the third, Chris Davis doubled home David Murphy as inning later and Cruz’s two- out, run-scoring single off Francisco Rodriguez in the fifth made it a four- run game.
Young singled off Scot Shields to plate Davis in the sixth, pushing the lead to five, though the Angels got within three on Matsui’s blast in the seventh. Bobby Abreu walked ahead of the homer.
Darren O’Day recorded the final two outs of the seventh, and Frank Francisco stranded a runner on second in the eighth.
Neftali Feliz made things interesting in the ninth, giving up consecutive singles to start the inning and allowing an RBI groundout off the bat of Alberto Callaspo. The hard-throwing closer, however, closed the door by retiring Howie Kendrick and Juan Rivera to notch his AL-leading 28th save.
Hunter began the season on the disabled list and has pitched at least six innings in nine of his 10 starts since being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on June 5. The only Rangers right-hander who has ever posted more consecutive winning starts than Hunter’s eight was Bobby Witt, who won a club record 12 straight decisions in 1990…The Angels sent pitchers Joe Saunders, Patrick Corbin and Rafael Rodriguez and a player to be named later to Arizona for Haren…The Rangers outhit the Angels, 13-6.