Using a six run 6th inning, the Angels made a dramatic come-from-behind 9-8 victory Wednesday night to end the Texas Rangers’ 12-game winning streak, and to keep themselves in contention in the AL West. Howie Kendrick drove in the go-ahead run with a two out, bases loaded single to score Bobby Abreu and Alberto Callaspo. It was Kendrick’s second bases loaded hit of the night, after giving the Angels an early 2-1 lead by driving in Torii Hunter and Abreu in the first inning.
Torii Hunter got his first hit since the all-star break with a 3rd inning home run. It was Hunter’s 12th home run of the season, and ended a 0-18 stretch following the break.
The game appeared out of reach for the Halos after Texas scored five times in the 5th to take a 8-3 lead. Hits by Josh Hamilton and Michael Young put the Rangers up by three, but when Vernon Wells lost Yorvit Torrealba’s line drive in the lights scoring two more, the Rangers had put 5 runs on the board and the game was all but over.
The miracle 6th was started by Kendrick when he led off the inning with a double to deep center. Mark Trumbo singled to center, scoring Kendrick and advanced to third on Bobby Wilson’s ground out. Mike Trout then hit a routine groundball to Ranger’s strong-armed shortstop Elvis Andrus for what typically is an out, except Trout’s speed allowed him to beat the throw to first scoring Trumbo and keeping the inning alive. Erick Aybar drew the Angels to within 2 with a line-drive double to center scoring Trout. After a Hunter groundout, Abreu singled to right plating Aybar, and the Angels were down by just one run. A walk to Wells and another hustling infield single by Callaspo loaded the bases, setting the stage for Kendrick’s second bases load hit of the night.
Hisanori Takahashi (3-2) recorded the win after relieving starter Dan Haren in the 5th. Haren lasted just 4.1 inning, giving up a season high 7 runs on nine hits. Scott Downs pitched a perfect two innings leading up to Jordan Walden’s 22nd save of the season. Walden struck out Nelson Cruz with the tying run on third to preserve the Angels’ victory. Walden’s 22 saves ties the rookie record for saves in a season set by Ken Tatum in 1969.
The win returns the Angels to 4 games behind the division leading Rangers. The final game of the three game series will be Thursday’s 12:35 game featuring Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson.