Angels defeat Rangers in 10th on Kendrick's walk-off RBI double
Kendrick lifts Angels past Rangers 3-2 in 10
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Howie Kendrick knows how difficult it is to hit home runs at Angel Stadium at night. Two of his drives against Nick Martinez didn't make it past the warning track.
Kendrick got another chance in the 10th inning and hit an RBI double to give Los Angeles a 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.
Josh Hamilton started the rally with an infield single against Neal Cotts (2-4), and Kendrick greeted Jason Frasor with a drive to the fence in left-center on a 3-2 pitch with the runner going.
"Right there, I was just trying to stay honest. I didn't know whether he was going to throw me a fastball or not, because he's got a split also," Kendrick said. "So I was just trying to see the ball up. They were playing me to the opposite field, so there was a big gap in left-center. I put a good swing on it and hit it in the right spot."
Mike Morin (1-1) pitched one inning for his first major-league victory, striking out three and hitting a batter.
Jered Weaver allowed a run and four hits through eight innings, struck out five and walked two. The three-time All-Star left with a 2-1 lead after C.J. Cron's leadoff homer in the eighth, but Kevin Jepsen promptly surrendered a home run to center field by Shin-Soo Choo on his second pitch in the ninth.
Jepsen, who has only three saves in six full big-league seasons, was given the chance to close by manager Mike Scioscia just two days after Ernesto Frieri gave up a walkoff grand slam to Cleveland's Nick Swisher in the 10th inning of a 5-3 loss. Cam Bedrosian, who took the loss in that game, was optioned to Double-A Arkansas before Saturday's contest after giving up nine runs, eight hits and seven walks in 5 2/3 innings over his first six big-league appearances.
Martinez allowed two runs and three hits in seven-plus innings after retiring his first 15 batters. The 23-year-old right-hander gave a needed boost to a beleaguered pitching staff that had surrendered 10 or more hits in six straight games — the team's longest such streak since a nine-game stretch in August 2008.
Martinez recorded 10 of his first 15 outs on flyballs — including two by Kendrick that were caught on the warning track — and another deep drive by Cron.
"That's the nature of this ballpark. You love it and hate it, but it's not going to change for me or anybody else," Kendrick said. "I've been playing here for a while, so you come to expect those things sometimes. The biggest thing is just going up there and trying to put good at-bats together and put good swings on the ball."
Hank Conger broke up Martinez's perfect string with an opposite-field double into the left-field corner on a 2-1 count leading off the sixth and scored on a groundout by Efren Navarro that tied it 1-all.
"Martinez threw a heck of a game on their side. I didn't know if we were going to get to him or not, but we were able to squeak one across," Weaver said.
Weaver pitched with runners on base in four of the first five innings and didn't get his first strikeout until fanning Brad Snyder to open the fifth. Designated hitter Alex Rios, who came in 4 for 25 against the right-hander, led off the second with a double and was stranded at third when Robinson Chrinos popped out and Michael Choice grounded out.
Choo led off the fourth with a grounder toward the hole that went under second baseman Kendrick's glove for an error, but he kept going and was thrown out by right fielder Kole Calhoun.
"If he gets to second there, that would have made all the difference in the game. So for Kole to come up with a big play there was huge," Weaver said. "He's scrappy and he plays with a lot of emotion on his sleeve, and he's shown what he's capable of doing — not only on the offensive side but the defensive side as well."
Adrian Beltre followed with a single and was erased on a double-play grounder by Rios, who got into an argument with umpire Vic Carapazza about a previous pitch that was called a strike and was ejected. Donnie Murphy replaced him as the designated hitter.
Carapazza also ejected Choice in the 10th for arguing balls and strikes after taking back-to-back pitches that appeared to be out of the zone. That ran Texas's season total to six ejections.
"He's got a quick trigger finger. He needs to settle down a little bit," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "This is the big leagues. There's going to be some tension flying around, and he's got to be able to deal with some of that. People are out there competing. He's got to have some patience. He's got to control himself. It's ridiculous."
Weaver ended a career-worst streak in which he had allowed a home run in seven consecutive starts. ... Angels 1B Albert Pujols missed the game due to pain in his lower back. He felt it while trying to scoring a run in Friday night's 7-3 win. ... Texas 1B-DH Mitch Moreland is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on his left ankle Monday in Charlotte, NC.
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