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August 08, 2013

Rangers move into first-place tie with 10-3 win over Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer Wednesday, Alexi Ogando allowed two runs in five innings, and the Rangers stole seven more bases as they ran their way to a 10-3 victory and a three-game sweep of the lowly Angels.

The win moved the Rangers into a first-place tie in the American League West with Oakland, which lost a day game at Cincinnati. The Rangers have won nine of their past 10 games and seven straight against the Angels, who were swept last week at Rangers Ballpark in three walk-off loss.

The Rangers finished a stretch of 20 games in 20 days with an 11-9 record ahead of an off day Thursday and a four-game series Friday through Monday at last-place Houston. They also improved to 3-0 without Nelson Cruz, who was suspended Monday for the rest of the regular season.

Leonys Martin and Elvis Andrus stole three bases apiece, including two each in the first inning as the Rangers took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Mitch Moreland.

Mike Trout, though, quickly put the Angel in front with a two-run homer in the bottom half. Alexi Ogando struggled with his command, walking leadoff man Kole Calhoun and hitting No. 5 hitter Erick Aybar.

Martin put an end to the inning when he threw out Aybar at third base on a single by J.B. Shuck.

The Rangers posted three runs in the third against Tommy Hanson to take the lead for good. Martin started the rally with a double, went to third on a bunt hit by Andrus, and scored on a single by Ian Kinsler.

Andrus came home on Beltre’s fielder’s choice, and Moreland knocked home Beltre after he had gone to second on a wild pitch.

A two-out infield hit by Jurickson Profar made it 5-2 in the fifth, Beltre connected off Joe Blanton in the sixth, and Martin brought home Craig Gentry, who had stolen second and gone to third on a Profar grounder, with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Murphy turned the game into a route in the eighth with a gapper to right-center field after the Angels had scored a run in the seventh against Robbie Ross.

Ogando wasn’t great, lasting only five innings, but he appeared to have better command of his fastball than he has since coming off the disabled list. He also mixed in an effective changeup, which produced strikeouts of Josh Hamilton and Trout.

Ogando (5-3) allowed only one hit and a walk over a three-inning stretch after the rugged first. He hit Grant Green to start the fifth and allowed a one-out single to Trout, but Hamilton lined into a double play to end the Angels’ threat.

-- Jeff Wilson

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