Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Vladimir Guerrero singled home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift Texas to a 3-2 victory over Los Angeles in the first of a four-game set to conclude the regular season.
Guerrero drove in a pair of runs and Nelson Cruz went 3-for-4 and scored twice, including the decisive run, for the Rangers, who have won two in a row and five out of seven to take an 11-game lead in the AL West for the first time in franchise history.
Darren O'Day (6-2) gave up the tying run in the top of the eighth but picked up the win and Neftali Feliz locked down his 39th save with a scoreless ninth.
Rookie hurler Jordan Walden (0-1), who grew up in the Dallas area, took the loss in his lone inning of work for the Angels, who had sandwiched a four-game slide with three-game win streaks entering the series.
Rangers starter Cliff Lee yielded a lone unearned run on four hits without a walk while striking out eight over seven frames and turned over a 2-1 lead to Darren O'Day in the eighth.
"There's no added pressure, no extra pressure," Lee said regarding the upcoming postseason. "I just want to go out there and do what I do. If everything's where I need it to be and I'm right mechanically and able to make pitches, then I expect to have success."
Peter Bourjos belted a two-out, solo home run to left that knotted the score.
The Rangers responded in their half to produce the winning run.
Cruz doubled to rightfield with one out and was halfway to third before deciding to go back to second base. He then stole third and came in to score on Guerrero's single to left.
Julio Borbon singled with one out in the third, advanced to third on an Elvis Andrus base hit and scored the game's first run on a Michael Young sacrifice fly.
Cruz doubled and scored on a Guerrero two-base hit in the fourth to make it a 2-0 game. The Rangers went on to load the bases with one out but couldn't add to their lead after Mitch Moreland grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Bobby Abreu's sacrifice fly in the sixth got the Angels on the board.
"You always want to finish respectable," Angels outfielder Torii Hunter said. "Everybody wants to finish strong, no matter who it is."
The Rangers are 50-28 at home...They lead the season series, 9-7...Nine of the 16 games have been decided by one run and 25 of the last 34 between the two teams have been decided by three runs or less...The Rangers are 6-9 in his 15 starts since he joined the team in the mega-trade with Seattle...Lee is slated to open the ALDS on Wednesday against either the Tampa Bay Rays or New York Yankees...Borbon has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games after going 1- for-3...Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is expected to return to the lineup Friday night for the first time since September 4. Angels starter Scott Kazmir gave up two runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings...Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick went 0-for-4 and lost a seven- game hitting streak.