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August 28, 2011

Final: Rangers 9, Angels 5

It seemed like Angels manager Mike Scioscia had made a brilliant move starting Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver on short rest. A day after Santana helped the Angels to a victory and pulled them to within two games of the Rangers in the American League West, Weaver had a 4-1 lead in the third inning on Sunday night.

But the Texas Rangers showed their resiliency once again. They rallied for a 9-5 victory over the Angels at Rangers Ballpark, and extended their lead in the West to three games.

The Angels had taken a 4-1 lead with single runs in the first and second, and two in the third.

Texas tied it at 4-4 in the bottom of the third with three runs. Elvis Andrus had an RBI triple off the right-field wall, and Josh Hamilton followed with a two-run homer to center. 

The Angels regained a 5-4 lead on a solo shot by Howie Kendrick in the fifth off Rangers starter Colby Lewis. Lewis ended up going six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits with three strikeouts.

Lewis got a no-decision when the Rangers rallied again in the seventh. Weaver came out for the inning, but threw only three pitches. All three were hit, too. David Murphy doubled to left, Ian Kinsler had an RBI single to center and Andrus reached on a bunt that saw the ball come to a complete stop on the first-base line.

With two on, no out and the game tied at 5-5, the Angels brought in left-hander Scott Downs to face Hamilton. And Hamilton saw only one pitch, coming through with an RBI single to right to bring in the go-ahead run. Andrus and Hamilton then advanced to second and third on an Angels’ error.

Anaheim intentionally walked Michael Young to load the bases, and brought in Bobby Cassevah to face pinch-hitter Endy Chavez. Chavez didn't disappoint, chopping a two-run single up the middle to pad the Rangers' lead to 8-5.

Texas tacked on one more when Andrus had his own run-scoring chopper up the middle in the ninth.

The Rangers bullpen shut down any potential Angels rally. Darren Oliver, Mike Adams and Neftali Feliz threw three scoreless innings to finish it off.

It wasn’t all good news for the Rangers. Nelson Cruz led off with a double in the sixth, but pulled up limp with a strained left hamstring. He left the game and will be re-evaluated on Monday.

-- Drew Davison

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