Ron Washington made one thing clear before Friday night’s game – pitching stops offense. That’s what happened, Washington said, during the Rangers’ three-game losing streak to Boston.
“Nothing’s wrong with my offense,” Washington said.
Well, Washington was right. The offense wasn’t an issue, and Derek Holland pitched well, as the Rangers rolled to an 11-7 victory over the Angels at Rangers Ballpark. The victory gives Texas a three-game lead over Anaheim in the American League West.
The Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the second off Angels starter Dan Haren with a two-run double by Nelson Cruz, who was hitting in the seven-hole for the first time this season. Cruz extended the lead to 3-0 with a solo blast to start the fourth, sending a ball to deep center field.
Texas then broke it open with four runs in each the fifth and sixth. David Murphy had a grand slam in the fifth, which ended Haren’s night. In the sixth, the Rangers scored on an RBI double by Mitch Moreland followed by a three-run home run by Cruz.
Cruz, who entered the game 4 for 27 in his last seven games, finished 4 for 5 with two home runs, three runs and six RBIs.
Holland bounced back in a big way after allowing five runs on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. He held the Angels to one run on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings.
The Angels scored four runs in the eighth, highlighted by a three-run homer by Russell Branyan, and two in the ninth on a two-run blast by Howie Kendrick, but never truly threatened.
-- Drew Davison