A three-run fifth inning and 6 1/3 strong innings from Martin Perez proved to be all the Rangers would need in a 5-2 victory over the Angels in Los Angeles. It was also the club’s first game without Nelson Cruz, who was suspended earlier on Monday for using performance-enhancing drugs.
The Angles got on the board first when Mark Trumbo lifted a fly ball down the right field line for an RBI double. David Murphy, starting in right field for the first time in 2013, overran the pop-up right at the foul pole, and the ball dropped in the warning track just beyond his outstretched glove.
But the story of the game was capitalizing on scoring opportunities.
The Rangers pieced together their three-run fifth inning in somewhat unorthodox fashion. A bases-loaded wild pitch brought home Murphy for the Rangers’ first run of the game.
Elvis Andrus followed with a flare to right field that Angel second baseman Howie Kendrick seemed to have secured in his glove before tripping over a sliding Collin Cowgill. The ball popped free, and Andrus raced to third for a stand-up, RBI triple.
The fourth Ranger run came when Adrian Beltre launched his twenty-fourth home run into the bullpen beyond the left field fence at Angel Stadium to start the sixth inning.
After a walk and a single in the same inning, Jurickson Profar slapped his second hit of the night into left field to cap the scoring effort for Texas.
Both teams squandered scoring chances with a runner on second base and no outs. For Los Angeles, however, the late innings proved to be missed opportunities as well.
The Angels found themselves in bases-loaded situations in the seventh and eighth inning, but unlike the Rangers, they were not able to capitalize.
With the bases loaded and one out in the seventh, Cowgill rolled an RBI groundout to Profar at shortstop, but the bases were left loaded after Jason Frasor walked Mike Trout intentionally.
Two Ranger errors in the eighth inning, including another terribly misplayed ball by David Murphy, yielded another bases-loaded opportunity for the Angels. But a J.B. Shuck line drive fell just short of the wall and into Murphy’s glove to keep the Ranger lead at three runs.
The Angels left a total of 11 men on base in the game. The Rangers left just five men stranded on the base paths.
Perez’s final line included two runs allowed on just four hits in his 6 1/3 innings, to go along with seven strikeouts.
Frasor and Neal Cotts provided some crafty relief of Perez to work out of sticky situations in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively.
Joe Nathan worked around a one-out walk to deal a scoreless ninth for save no. 33 of the season.