A two-run seventh inning broke up a tie game in the Rangers' 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Friday night in Arlington.
Alex Rios delivered an RBI single to right field that scored Ian Kinsler and snapped a 3-3 tie. Kinsler walked to lead off the inning, advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw, and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Elvis Andrus.
Rios stole second base, his second steal of the game and number 42 on the season, and scored from second on an infield single by A.J. Pierzynski to give the Rangers their final tally and a two-run advantage.
The Rangers' first two batters of the game reached base for the second straight night. Ian Kinsler walked, and went first-to-third on an Elvis Andrus single before Alex Rios brought him home on an RBI fielder's choice.
After relinquishing the early lead in the top of the third on a pair of Angels singles and a Kole Calhoun sacrifice fly, Texas benefitted from C.J. Wilson's lack of control in the bottom half of the inning.
Wilson threw three wild pitches, hit two batters including one of each with the bases loaded and walked one en route to surrendering two Rangers runs. Elvis Andrus logged the only hit of the inning against the lefty.
A.J. Pierzynski and Adrian Beltre were each hit by a pitch with two strikes.
Josh Hamilton tied the game in the top of the fifth with a one-out, two-RBI single through the right side of the infield with the bases loaded. Andrew Romine and Calhoun scored on the single, career hit number 1,000 for Hamilton.
Romine and Calhoun singled earlier in the inning. Howie Kendrick grounded into a quickly-turned 5-4-3 double-play to end the Angels' fifth.
Rangers starter Alexi Ogando threw 24 pitches in that fifth inning, and 86 in his five-and-a-third innings of work. The fifth was the one major hiccup for Ogando, who allowed eight hits and three earned runs.
After Wilson's erratic third inning, the former Texas ace retired 10 consecutive batters before walking Mitch Moreland in the sixth. Wilson threw 121 pitches in six innings.
J.C. Gutierrez was charged with both seventh-inning Rangers runs, as he allowed a walk and a hit in addition to committing a throwing error.
Jason Frasor relieved Ogando in the eighth inning for Texas before Neal Cotts and Tanner Scheppers succeeded him with perfect innings in the seventh and eighth. All three struck out two batters.
Joe Nathan recorded his 42nd save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.
Rios has now hit safely in 33 of 44 games as a member of the Rangers after his go-ahead single Friday, and has swiped 16 bases in that time.
Texas gained one game on the Wild Card-leading Tampa Bay Rays, who fell to Toronto 6-3 on Friday. The Indians, who entered the night trailing the Rays by one game, beat the Twins.
The Rangers now find themselves one game back of each team in the Wild Card chase.
The third of four games between the Angels and Rangers has been moved up to 11 a.m. Saturday due to the potential for stormy weather in the evening.