Delino DeShields capped a three-run rally in the eighth inning with an infield hit that drove in the go-ahead run, Rougned Odor homered, and the Texas Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-6 on Saturday night.
Joe Smith (4-3) came on to protect a 6-4 lead for Angels starter Hector Santiago, but didn’t make it out of the eighth. Elvis Andrus raced home from third as Shin-Soo Choo grounded to first baseman Albert Pujols for a force at second, Robinson Chirinos singled home another run, and Josh Hamilton scored on DeShields’ high chopper to third.
Spencer Patton (1-0) earned his second big league victory with a hitless seventh inning. Struggling Tanner Scheppers pitched a hitless eighth and Shawn Tolleson got three outs for his 17th save in 18 attempts.
The Angels’ loss was their third in a row after seven straight wins, and kept them in a virtual tie with Houston for the AL West lead.
The Rangers narrowed the gap to 4-3 in the fourth with RBI doubles by Ryan Rua and Chirinos after a two-out walk to Choo, then tied it in the fifth with an unearned run.
Pujols fielded Andrus’ checked-swing grounder wide of the bag and made a poor throw to shortstop Erick Aybar trying for the force. Odor, who drew a leadoff walk, scored from second on Pujols’ fourth error of the season.
But Pujols led off the bottom half with a double and scored the go-ahead run on a single by Aybar that chased starter Yovani Gallardo. Kole Calhoun, who had three RBIs, made it 6-4 in the sixth with an RBI single after a two-out triple by Johnny Giavotella.
Calhoun gave the Angels a 3-1 lead in the second, lining a two-run single to right field on a full count after Connor Gillaspie and Kyle Kubitza advanced on Gallardo’s two-out wild pitch. Calhoun tried to score on Mike Trout’s double to right and was thrown out.
The Rangers had two men in scoring position in the third after Santiago’s two-out wild pitch to Prince Fielder, who hit a grounder to second base. Giavotella made a poor throw to first, but Pujols bailed him out with a diving grab while keeping his foot on the bag.
The Angels added a run in the fourth when C.J. Cron reached on a strikeout-wild pitch with two out and came all the way home on Gillaspie’s double to left-center.
Odor, the Rangers’ No. 2 hitter, drove Santiago’s fifth pitch of the game deep into the right-field seats for his seventh homer â and sixth since his recall from Triple-A Round Rock on June 15.
Only three of the 285 left-handed batters Santiago has faced in an Angels uniform have homered against him. Eleven of the 14 homers he has given up this year have been solo shots, including the last six. But the Angels got the run back in their half of the first on Pujols’ groundout with runners at the corners.
Gillaspie made his Angels debut at third base, one day after he was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in a cash deal. The Halos lost third baseman David Freese for approximately 6-8 weeks with a broken right index finger after he was hit by a pitch from Minnesota’s Mike Pelfrey on Wednesday night.
Rua played left field in place of Hamilton with a lefty starting for the Angels. Hamilton went 2-for-4 Friday night in his lustily-booed return to the "Big A." He pinch-hit in the sixth inning on Saturday and flied out before taking over for Rua in left.
BAYLOR LAUDS BIGGIO
Angels hitting coach Don Baylor held the major league record for getting hit by the most pitches in a career before Craig Biggio broke it. On Sunday, Biggio will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. "He was probably a lot smarter than I was because he used an arm pad, so he didn’t take a lot of direct hits like I did. And I never saw him charge the mound because he knew he could steal a base," Baylor said. " When I was a manager, I tried to get him to cross over from Houston to Colorado because I knew what type of player I was looking for â a leader on the field and in the clubhouse. He motivated a lot of guys just by the way he played, and he was a great inspiration for guys who weren’t 6-foot-2."
Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez (5-5) is 0-3 with a 6.98 ERA in five starts since June 9, when he allowed one hit over six scoreless innings in a 2-1 win at Oakland.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (4-0) brings a 1.57 ERA into his sixth start of the season. He has 27 strikeouts and just four walks in 34 1/3 innings, and has completed the seventh in each of his last four starts.