ARLINGTON (AP) – Chris Davis homered and later drove in the tiebreaking run with an eighth-inning single and the Texas Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-4 Sunday, winning only their second series in the past month.
The Rangers loaded the bases to start the eighth after Rich Thompson (1-2) failed to retire any of the three batters he faced. Davis then singled to right off Hisanori Takahashi.
Adrian Beltre also homered for Texas, which won two of three against AL West-leading Los Angeles after having won only one of its previous nine series. The defending AL champion Rangers moved within a half-game of the division lead.
Davis’ opposite-field homer over the left-field wall in the fourth off Ervin Santana put the Rangers up 4-1. It was the second homer of the season for Davis.
Mark Lowe (1-0) got out the only batter he faced before Neftali Feliz pitched the ninth for his eighth save in eight chances.
Thompson entered to start the eighth for Santana, issuing consecutive walks to Beltre and David Murphy before Mike Napoli’s checked swing turned into a bloop single barely past the infield dirt.
Santana, who has won only once in his nine starts this season, struck out three while allowing four runs.
The Angels had a scoring chance thwarted in the top of the eighth after Alexi Amarista’s one-out triple off reliever Brett Tomko. Amarista was caught in a rundown when third baseman Beltre was playing in, then fielded Peter Bourjos’ chopper and threw home.
Beltre had a three-run homer in the third, a ball that just cleared the 14-foot wall in left field. His 10th homer of the season was his third in the past four games.
Erick Aybar had three hits and drove in three runs for the Angels, including his second homer of the season — both in this series.
C.J. Wilson allowed only two hits pitching into the eighth inning of his previous start Monday against Oakland, but walked five — four of those becoming runs. The Rangers’ left-hander, who walked no more than three in his first seven starts, had four more walks against the Angels.
Leadoff hitter Bourjos walked to start Sunday’s game, then moved to third on a double by Aybar before scoring on Torii Hunter’s groundout.
Wilson was gone after giving up consecutive singles to start the sixth, and was already at 104 pitches when Tomko took over
Jeff Mathis then had a sacrifice bunt, and also reached when Beltre bobbled the ball without a throw for an error. Pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu struck out and Bourjos hit a shallow fly to center before Aybar’s two-out single to right for two unearned runs that tied the game at 4.
An inning earlier, Aybar homered. Seven of his 16 career homers — in 1,732 at-bats in 513 games — have come against the Rangers.
The Rangers took advantage of consecutive fielding flubs to load the bases in the first, but then failed to score.
Elvis Andrus hit a grounder to the right side, reaching on an error when Santana dropped the toss from first baseman Mark Trumbo.
Ian Kinsler then hit a high popup and was credited with his first hit when the ball dropped untouched between second baseman Howie Kendrick and Trumbo. Kendrick was calling for the ball, but suddenly backed off at the last second, as did Trumbo when he realized how close he was to his teammate.
Beltre drew a two-out walk before Murphy’s inning-ending infield popup caught by shortstop Aybar.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)