Posted September 21, 2012 on
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Los Angeles Angels
Chicago White Sox
Adrian Beltre hit a tiebreaking two-run homer off Angels closer Ernesto Frieri in the ninth inning, and the Texas Rangers dealt yet another blow to Los Angeles' fading playoff hopes with a 3-1 victory Thursday night.
Yu Darvish (16-9) held the Angels to four hits and struck out nine in a scintillating eight-inning duel with Zack Greinke, who gave up five hits and struck out eight.
Beltre then rewarded Darvish with his 34th homer to left field off Frieri (3-2), who wasted a phenomenal start by Greinke for the second time in six days.
Texas (89-60) improved the AL's best record and stayed four games ahead of Oakland (85-64) in the AL West by taking two of three from the Angels.
Los Angeles (81-69) dropped 4 1/2 games behind the Athletics and Baltimore in the AL wild-card standings. Oakland beat Detroit earlier, and the Orioles were idle.
Joe Nathan gave up a two-out double to Albert Pujols in the ninth, but got Kendrys Morales on a fly to finish his 34th save.
Beltre missed Wednesday's game and nearly sat out Thursday with abdominal troubles before talking his way into the lineup during batting practice. He went 0 for 3 against Greinke, but smashed an apparent hanging slider from Frieri after Michael Young's leadoff single.
The Rangers won their second straight game without slugger Josh Hamilton, who will return to Texas for further examination of a sinus condition. Hamilton left Tuesday's game in the fourth inning with the problem, saying his entire family has been under the weather for several days.
Nelson Cruz had two hits and scored the first run in the fifth inning for the Rangers, but Los Angeles tied it in the sixth on Torii Hunter's grounder. Neither team managed an extra-base hit in the first eight innings.
Darvish was largely unhittable for the fifth consecutive start, repeatedly mixing 95-mph fastballs and 65-mph breaking balls while retiring 14 of the Angels' first 16 hitters.
But Greinke didn't lose his rhythm after Frieri gave away his last outing in spectacular fashion. The normally reliable closer gave up two homers in four pitches while blowing a two-run lead in the ninth after he took over for Greinke, who had thrown 109 pitches - the same number he had through eight innings Thursday.
After a slow start in Orange County, Greinke has been everything the Angels anticipated when they acquired him in July from Milwaukee, going 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA in his last six starts while holding every opponent to two runs or fewer.
He didn't walk a Texas batter, never even getting into a three-ball count until the seventh inning.
Cruz and David Murphy led off the fifth with singles for Texas. Geovany Soto hit a medium-length fly to left, but Cruz beat Hunter's strong throw with a wide slide touching the plate with his hand.
After slumping All-Star Mark Trumbo delivered a leadoff single in the sixth, pinch-runner Peter Bourjos reached third on Chris Iannetta's single. Mike Trout struck out, but Hunter's broken-bat grounder dawdled on the grass just long enough to allow Bourjos to score the tying run.
NOTES: Hamilton tried to participate in a pregame workout, but couldn't do much. ... Angels manager Mike Scioscia says struggling LHP C.J. Wilson is keeping his spot in the rotation despite failing to make it out of the third inning Wednesday night. ... Los Angeles opens a weekend series with the Chicago White Sox on Friday night, with Ervin Santana facing Jake Peavy. Texas opens a three-game series in Seattle.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Texas Rangers' injury/illness epidemic is spreading through the middle of the lineup. On Wednesday, Josh Hamilton, the team's No. 3 hitter, reported no improvement in the blurred vision and difficulty focusing that forced him out of Tuesday's game after three innings. In addition, cleanup hitter Adrian Beltre was out of the lineup due to an intestinal ailment. ...
Adrian Beltre essentially crawled into Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington's office Thursday afternoon, sat doubled over in a chair with stomach cramps and told his skipper he was ready to play. "That's Adrian Beltre," Washington said. "And when he says something, you believe him." In case there were any doubt, Beltre delivered a game-winning homer...
Alternate headline: Yu Darvish Stops Being Polite, Starts Getting RealYu Darvish pitched again on Thursday, and Yu Darvish dominated again on Thursday. Unlike when he dominated the Mariners in his previous outing, this time he dominated a good team on the road, allowing a run over eight innings against the Angels. The Rangers beat the Angels, which the Angels found particularly devastating...
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- For all anybody knows, Ervin Santana might be nearing the end of his Angels tenure. There could be one more start on his schedule, maybe two.
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In a season of inconsistency and unmet expectations, Santana is finishing with a flourish...
An ex-con named Robert Wayne Harris was executed on Thursday night after the U.S. Supreme court refused appeals to stall his punishment. The 40-year-old Harris confessed to killing five people 12 years ago at a Dallas-area car wash that fired him. Before receiving lethal injections, Harris told his brother and three friends not to worry and then expressed his love for the Texas Rangers...
Still battling the effects of blurred vision, outfielder Josh Hamilton will not join the Rangers in
Seattle for the weekend series against the Mariners. The Rangers lost the opener of their three-game
series, 6-3.Hamilton, who entered Friday as the AL home run leader, has not played since leaving the opener of the
series at Los Angeles Tuesday in the fourth inning with blurred...
ANAHEIM, Calif. In the closing weeks of the season, with a playoff spot on the line, little things can make a big difference.
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The Angels spent Wednesday night lamenting all the little things that went wrong against the Texas Rangers. They lost a game, lost a day in their season...
Vernon Wells earned hustle points. But that's about it. In the third inning of Tuesday's game against the Rangers, the Angels outfielder aggressively chased Ian Kinsler's fly ball and leaped into the left-field stands, hoping to make a spectacular catch. But Kinsler's blast ultimately cleared the wall, resulting in an embarrassing tumble for Wells. Wells then needed...
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Check it out!
The post Vernon Wells...
Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre is back in the Rangers lineup against the Seattle Mariners, but that doesn't mean his stomach problems are completely solved.
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To quote John McClane, "How can the same **** happen to the same guy twice?"
Aside from the fact that this game might very well spell the end of the Angels' season, the only thing that anyone is going to remember this game for is Mike Scioscia once again pulling Zack Greinke during a great start in favor of Ernesto Frieri. The same Ernesto Frieri who spoiled...
Back in July, Torii Hunter mentioned that he wanted to return to the Angels next season or join the Yankees, Rangers or Dodgers. The Dodgers are no longer an option with an outfield of Matt Kemp Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford, but the Yankees and Rangers could potentially be options.
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