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August 26, 2011

Friday's postgame notes: Holland, Cruz get back on track

Here are a few postgame notes after the Rangers pulled away for an 11-7 victory over the Angels on Friday night, snapping a brief three-game losing streak.

The victory also gave the Rangers a three-game lead over the Angels in the American League West.

* Derek Holland earned his 12th win of the season, allowing one run on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out six. The first two batters reached in the first inning, but Holland got out of it by striking out Howie Kendrick and Torii Hunter. On Hunter's strikeout, the inning then ended with a strike 'em out, throw 'em out, as Mike Napoli gunned down Peter Bourjos at third.

* Nelson Cruz went 4 for 5 with two home runs and six RBIs, starting in the seven-hole for the first time this season. He had a two-run double in the second, a 452-foot solo shot in the fourth and a three-run, 425-foot shot in the sixth. Cruz has six or more RBIs in three games this season, becoming the first player to accomplish that feat since Gary Sheffield did it with the Yankees in 2005.

* Cruz's home run in the second, the 452-foot shot, is the 10th longest home run in Rangers Ballpark history. It's the third-longest home run hit at the stadium this season (he hit a 459-foot home run on June 6 vs. Detroit).

* David Murphy had a big night, connecting for a grand slam in the fifth inning that broke the game open and also ended Angels' starter Dan Haren's night. It was Murphy's second career grand slam, as he hit one on June 11, 2008 at Kansas City. The four RBIs are a season high, and the most he's had since Sept. 26, 2010.

* Michael Young went 3 for 5 with two runs scored. He has at least three hits in five of his last seven games against the Angels. Against the Angels this season, Young is hitting .379, the second-highest average against the Angels this season (for players with at least 25 at-bats).

* Other Rangers hitting notes: Mike Napoli had singles in the second and sixth, and now has an eight-game hitting streak against the Angels. ... Mitch Moreland had two doubles on the night, his third game with multiple extra-base hits this season. ... Elvis Andrus snapped an 0 for 13 stretch with a single in the first inning. ... The Rangers had six hits with runners in scoring position after they had a combined seven hits in those situations the past eight games.

-- Drew Davison

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