Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) – Vladimir Guerrero’s two-run homer in the fourth inning was enough against his former team as the AL West-leading Rangers edged the Angels, 2-1, in the middle installment of a three-game series.
Nelson Cruz extended his career-high hitting streak to 19 games as Texas, despite playing without major league-leading hitter Josh Hamilton, bounced back from a 9-7 defeat on Friday. Hamilton was out because of patella tendinitis in his right knee.
Rich Harden (4-3), activated off the disabled list earlier in the day, limited Los Angeles to one run on five hits over seven innings.
“They were aggressive and that was my plan, to go out there and throw strikes,” Harden said. “I was hitting my spots and I was happy with my pitch count.”
Dan Haren (0-2), making his second start with his new club, was charged with five hits, walked two and fanned six in a complete game effort. It was his second complete game of the season and 11th of his career, but he’s winless (0-6) over his last nine starts.
Howie Kendrick homered in the seventh inning for LA, which lost for the eighth time in 10 contests.
David Murphy walked to start the fourth inning and Guerrero homered on the first pitch to left-center for his 21st long ball of the year.
“The pitch was low, but it should have been more outside. It caught too much of the plate,” Haren said.
Erick Aybar struck out swinging to leave men at the corners in the bottom of the fifth. Hideki Matsui grounded out to strand a runner in scoring position in the LA sixth, but Kendrick homered to center with one out in the seventh. Mike Napoli doubled with two outs and Aybar was hit by a pitch, but Maicer Izturis grounded out to end the frame.
Frank Francisco retired the side in order in the eighth and Neftali Feliz did the same in the ninth for his 29th save.
Harden hadn’t pitched since June 11 due to a gluteal strain…To make room for Harden on the roster, Texas optioned pitcher Doug Mathis to Oklahoma City…Texas has prevailed in seven of the 11 meetings this season…Feliz has saved all 15 of his opportunities on the road…The Rangers acquired infielder Cristian Guzman from the Washington Nationals on Saturday. Texas also sent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to Boston in exchange for pitcher Roman Mendez, first baseman Chris McGuiness, a player to be named later and cash considerations.