Ian Kinsler described the Rangers' 9-5 victory over the Angels as "big." The win pushed the Rangers' lead in the American League West back to three games. When the seventh inning started, the Rangers were down 5-4 and in jeopardy of having just a one-game division lead.
"We're not going to get overly excited," Kinsler said. "There's still a lot of baseball to be played."
The Rangers' seventh was peculiar in that the first four pitches of the inning turned into hits. Three of them were against Weaver, who was working on three days' rest for the first time in his career. Kinsler said that Weaver was still tough, but speculated that the short rest and the 103-degree heat might have gotten to the right-hander. He started the seventh at 100 pitches and was charged with seven runs allowed.
Josh Hamilton homered and drove in three runs, including the go-ahead run in the seventh on a single on Scott Downs' first pitch. Hamilton had been 1 for 7 with four strikeouts in his career against the left-hander. Kinsler had tied the game two batters earlier with a liner up that middled that plated David Murphy, who had doubled to start the inning.
Not all news was good for the Rangers, who lost Nelson Cruz in the sixth inning to a strained left hamstring as he legged out a double. He will have an MRI exam Monday. Manager Ron Washington described the injury thusly: "It's a hamstring. You know what that means: time."
The Rangers and Angels next face each other in their final three games of the season, Sept. 26-28 at Angel Stadium.
-- Jeff Wilson