Angels 4, Rangers 1
Matt Harrison had another solid start for the Texas Rangers.
Except he was going against Jered Weaver.
The Rangers lost their third consecutive series after a 4-1 loss
Wednesday to the division rival Los Angeles Angels, dropping out of
first place in the AL West.
Weaver’s complete-game six-hitter made him the first five-game
winner in the majors.
”He’s always tough. He’s obviously off to a great start this
year,” Michael Young said. ”Every time you face him, it’s going
to be a grind, it’s going to be a battle. … He was on top of his
It was the fifth career complete game for Weaver (5-0), who
struck out eight with no walks to lower his ERA to 1.23 this
season. The right-hander threw 80 of his 119 pitches for
Harrison (3-1) struck out five while allowing three runs and
four hits in his 6 2-3 innings. The right-hander, who left with the
Rangers down 3-1, had allowed only one earned run in each of his
first three starts while pitching at least seven innings each
”I know it’s going to be a close game, I know I have to bring
my pitches,” Harrison said about matching up against Weaver. ”I
made those couple of mistakes, but I pitched well and have got to
keep going. … Tip my hat, he pitched a great game.”
With the victory, Los Angeles took over sole possession of first
place in the AL West. The Angels and Rangers had been tied atop the
division after splitting the first two games of the series.
Except for when the Angels (12-6) won their opener a day before
the rest of the AL West teams had played this season, Texas had
been the division leader since last June 8. The Rangers (11-7) last
year won their first division title since 1999 after the Angels had
won five of the previous six.
”We’re playing good baseball. Other teams are playing good
baseball too,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ”We’re only
in April. … No time to panic, we’ll be fine. We lost two out of
three to Anaheim. It’s April.”
The defending American League champion Rangers have lost six of
eight, dropping series against Detroit, the New York Yankees and
Howie Kendrick and Vernon Wells homered for the Angels, who have
won 11 of their last 14 games.
Jeff Mathis drove in a run on a suicide squeeze bunt and also
Weaver, who had already set a major league record for the
earliest calendar date to get his fourth victory, became the first
pitcher since Dave Stewart for Oakland in 1990 to win five times in
his team’s first 18 games.
Kendrick led off the fourth with his sixth homer, matching Mark
Teixeira of the New York Yankees for the AL lead.
Peter Bourjos had a one-out triple in the fifth and scored on
the suicide squeeze by Mathis, the Angels’ catcher who is a career
.199 hitter. Mathis was credited with his second sacrifice of the
game but reached when Harrison charged off the mound and kicked the
ball for an error.
The Angels then had the bases loaded after Maicer Izturis and
Kendrick drew consecutive two-out walks before struggling Torii
Hunter struck out.
Elvis Andrus had a single in the sixth and scored on Young’s
bloop double to right. That extended Young’s hitting streak to 11
games and cut the deficit in half.
But Mathis had a double in the seventh and scored on a single by
Izturis that made it 3-1 and chased Harrison.
Bourjos, the speedy center fielder, robbed David Murphy of a
home run in the bottom of the seventh. Bourjos leaped at the
warning track and caught the ball with his glove extended above the
”That was awesome,” Weaver said. ”It gave me a lot of
motivation. It was unbelievable.”
Mike Napoli, who spent his first five major league seasons with
the Angels before going to Texas last winter, then hit a double
into the right-center gap beyond the reach of Bourjos. But Weaver
struck out Mitch Moreland to end the inning.
Notes: Andrus had an infield single for Texas in the first, but
got picked off by Weaver, who had already thrown over to first base
five times to the ire of the crowd before getting the out the sixth
time. … Both teams had their designated hitters leading off. The
last time that happened in a major league game was June 15, 2005,
when Atlanta played at Texas. … Rangers closer Neftali Feliz, who
hadn’t pitched since Friday, walked three consecutive batters in
the ninth but didn’t give up a run. … Texas has Thursday off,
then plays on 20 consecutive days.