Seven Ranger pitchers took the mound, and a pair of seventh-inning runs put the Rangers ahead for good in a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Sunday afternoon.
Trailing 3-2 entering the seventh frame, a walk to Leonys Martin and a one-out ground-rule double by Ian Kinsler put runners on second and third. A shallow pop fly by Elvis Andrus was good for a sacrifice fly, despite an impressive diving catch by Angel right fielder Kole Calhoun.
Alex Rios followed with a two-out flare to left-center field that eluded a diving Mike Trout and went for an RBI double, giving the Rangers their first lead since the second inning.
Rios, batting third for the first time as a Texas Ranger, hit a solo home run just to the right of the 387 feet sign in left-center field in the first inning. Rios batted third in 107 of his 109 games with the White Sox in 2013.
Calhoun homered in the bottom of the second inning in his first career at-bat against Ranger starter Nick Tepesch.
Tepesch allowed a one-out single by Mark Trumbo, and was pulled from the game after 63 pitches in his return from the disabled list. It was the first start for Tepesch since July 5.
Joe Ortiz relieved Tepesch and gave up a two-out, RBI double by Andrew Romine that scored two Angels, making it a 3-1 game in favor of Los Angeles.
Andrus responded in the top of the fifth with an RBI single. The shortstop finished 2-for-2 with two RBI in the win, and is batting .325 since the All-Star Break.
A total of six Ranger relievers took the hill after Tepesch. Alexi Ogando, who earned the win, threw one-and-a-third scoreless inning, and Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts combined to toss a scoreless seventh inning.
Tanner Scheppers inherited a no-out, runner-on-second situation in the eighth inning after Cotts gave up a leadoff double to Calhoun.
Scheppers used a heavy dose of upper-90s fastballs to induce a Mark Trumbo groundout, record a crucial strikeout of Hank Conger, and get Grant Green to line out to center field.
Scheppers hasn’t allowed a run in his last five appearances. Only three of 15 inherited runners have scored against the hard-throwing righty in 2013.
Joe Nathan earned save no. 39 with a perfect ninth inning. The Ranger closer avoided facing Mike Trout, who was scheduled to bat fourth in the final frame.
The Ranger bullpen held the Angels scoreless in the final five innings.
Josh Hamilton stepped to the plate with runners in scoring position in each of his first two at-bats. The former Ranger grounded into an inning-ending double play in the first inning, and flied out to end the third. Hamilton finished 0-for-4 in the game.
Four Rangers recorded multiple hits in the win Sunday afternoon. Andrus, Rios, Martin, and Geovany Soto each recorded two hits. Soto is hitting .314 since July 10, when his batting average stood at .178. His season average stands at .229 after a 2-for-3 day Sunday.
The win moves the Rangers’ 2013 record against the Angels to 11-4, and gives them a 46-20 record against the AL West this year.
The Rangers return home Monday as they begin a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.