Angels 3, Rangers 2

In a game full of significant plays and misplays, it came down

to the Los Angeles Angels’ most effective reliever against the

Texas Rangers’ most dangerous hitter.

This time, Ernesto Frieri got the better of Josh Hamilton.

C.J. Wilson pitched six scoreless innings against his former

teammates, Alberto Callaspo singled home the go-ahead run in the

seventh and the surging Angels held off Texas 3-2 Saturday night to

pull within 3 1/2 games of the AL West-leading Rangers.

Bobby Cassevah (1-0) got two outs for the victory, Los Angeles’

10th in 11 games. Frieri, the fifth Angels pitcher, worked 1 1-3

innings for his fourth save in four chances after the Rangers

scored an unearned run in the eighth against Scott Downs.

Frieri ended it by striking out Hamilton with the bases loaded

after an 11-pitch walk to Ian Kinsler and a throwing error by Gold

Glove shortstop Erick Aybar on a routine grounder by Elvis Andrus

kept the inning alive.

”That was awesome. I can’t believe that I struck him out,”

Frieri said. ”He’s a good fastball hitter, but I made a really

good pitch to him, a fastball up in the zone. I wasn’t trying to

strike him out – just get out of that tough inning. They have so

many good hitters in that lineup. That was an amazing at-bat by


The Rangers have lost four straight for the first time since a

five-game stretch last June, which was their longest skid of 2011.

Manager Ron Washington held a closed-door meeting after the game to

air out his concerns.

”You’ll see tomorrow if I made a difference,” Washington said.

”So much happened out there that was totally uncharacteristic of

what we are, and it just opened up opportunities for the Angels to

get some runs on the board. Yu Darvish did a heck of a job out

there tonight, and we didn’t support him because we didn’t make the

plays. It was a very ugly performance.”

Aybar, robbed of a home run by center fielder Craig Gentry in

the third, led off the Angels’ two-run seventh with a bunt single

and stole second with one out. Andrus fielded Mike Trout’s grounder

to shortstop with Aybar cutting in front of him and immediately

started motioning to the umpires that the ball grazed Aybar –

instead of making the throw to first.

The speedy Trout was credited with a hit, and Washington came

out for a brief discussion with second base ump Ted Barrett and

third base partner Marvin Hudson before play resumed. Callaspo then

lined a single to right over a drawn-in infield to regain the lead

for the Angels.

Darvish (7-3) walked Albert Pujols, and Kendrys Morales followed

with a sacrifice fly against Koji Uehara. Right fielder Nelson

Cruz’s throw home was on target, and Yorvit Torrealba tagged Trout

as he slid in. But umpire Tim McClelland called him safe and

Torrealba was ejected after throwing a tantrum.

Washington joined the argument, and Torrealba resumed his

position behind the plate – not realizing that he had been tossed.

Once he finally got the message, he threw another tantrum before

heading to the dugout.

”I thought he was definitely out. I thought the throw beat him

and I know I tagged him,” Torrealba said. ”I was trying to block

the plate, but I don’t think he was in the right position to tell

if he was out or safe. Obviously it happened so fast. I’m an

emotional player, and I went off.

”I didn’t really say anything bad, but I got tossed because I

threw my mask down. That’s what he said. I was frustrated because

he missed the call. I went back behind the plate because I knew I

didn’t say anything bad to him. I was like: `No way! No way! You

missed the call!’ I didn’t know I was ejected until I threw the

ball to Elvis and (McClelland) said: `You’ve got to go.’ Then Ron

told me: `Yeah, you have to go.”’

Darvish was charged with three runs – two earned – and five hits

over 6 1-3 innings. He struck out seven, walked three and escaped a

bases-loaded jam in the fourth.

”He’s got great stuff,” Trout said. ”He’s got a bunch of

pitches, so you can’t just sit on one. It was definitely better

this time because we already saw him in Texas. He was battling just

like we were. You just try not to miss your pitch.”

Pujols led off the sixth with a popup that first baseman Mike

Napoli misjudged with the wind blowing out toward right field, and

it fell behind him for a two-base error as Pujols slid under the

tag of second baseman Kinsler.

”I just screwed it up, basically,” Napoli said. ”I kind of

drifted back, rather than running to a spot, and I turned around

too early.”

Pujols stole third as Morales struck out, then scored the game’s

first run when three-time Gold Glove third baseman Adrian Beltre

fielded Mark Trumbo’s grounder, thought about throwing home and

dropped the ball before recovering too late to get the runner at

first. Trumbo was credited with an RBI.

The Rangers tied it in the seventh after loading the bases with

none out against Jordan Walden. Michael Young was erased at the

plate on a fielder’s choice grounder to third baseman Callaspo, who

nearly threw the ball away and was bailed out by Bobby Wilson’s

diving grab with one foot on the plate. Cassevah relieved Walden

and gave up pinch-hitter David Murphy’s sacrifice fly.

C.J. Wilson threw 104 pitches, allowing five hits and striking

out five – including Beltre his first three times up. The

left-hander, who signed a five-year, $77.5 million contract with

the Angels in December after helping pitch the Rangers to

consecutive AL pennants, has allowed one run in 20 innings over his

last three starts.

After grounding into three double plays for the first time this

season during Friday night’s 4-2 loss, the Rangers matched that

total in the first three innings. Torrealba’s double play ended the

second after a double by Cruz and a walk to Napoli. The Angels

executed another double play in the fourth when Cruz struck out and

Bobby Wilson threw out Young trying to steal second.

Gentry, who has shared center-field duties with Hamilton, timed

his leap perfectly on Aybar’s towering fly to left-center and

reached over the 8-foot fence to grab it.

NOTES: The Rangers’ pitching staff has given up 30 unearned

runs, tying San Francisco for the most in the majors – and 27 of

them have come since May 1. … Beltre had to bail out of the

on-deck circle in the eighth when Hamilton struck out against Downs

and his bat went flying out of his hands.