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September 20, 2012

Rangers 6, Angels 2 (F)

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Derek Holland allowed two runs in seven innings Wednesday night, and the Rangers chased former teammate C.J. Wilson after only 2 2/3 innings en route to a 6-2 victory over the Angels in a game played without Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre.

The victory, coupled with an Oakland loss at Detroit, moved the Rangers four games ahead in the American League West with 14 games remaining for both teams. Half of them are head-to-head. The third-place Angels slipped 7 1/2 games back.

Geovany Soto hit a two-run homer in a three-run eighth inning, and Elvis Andrus had an RBI triple in a three-run third against Wilson. The left-hander also surrendered RBI doubles to Michael Young and Mike Napoli before getting lifted. Nelson Cruz added an RBI double in the eighth after Young had started the inning with a single.

The Rangers didn't pummel Wilson, but the left-hander was inneffective. He escaped a scoreless first inning despite three walks, and worked a perfect second before three straight hits to start the third.

He needed 66 pitches to get only eight outs.

Holland, meanwhile, logged his fourth straight game of at least seven innings pitches with no more than two runs. He also posted his sixth straight quality start while improving to 11-6.

He got help along the way from center fielder Craig Gentry, playing because Hamilton was out with vision problems. Gentry had two assists from the outfield, one in the second inning after chasing down an Alberto Callaspo flyball to double up Vernon Wells and another in the sixth to cut down Albert Pujols as he tried to stretch a single into a double.

Callaspo got even in the fifth with a two-run homer, the 28th Holland has allowed this season.

Right-handers Mike Adams and Joe Nathan returned after extended periods of rest ahead of the final push, and worked a scoreless inning apiece.

-- Jeff Wilson

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