ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Napoli homered twice against his former team, Yu Darvish struck out 11 over seven strong innings, and the Texas Rangers battered struggling Angels starter Ervin Santana for a 9-2 victory over Los Angeles on Saturday.
Napoli, Yorvit Torrealba and Adrian Beltre homered during Texas’ five-run second inning, chasing Santana (4-10) after just 13 batters. Torrealba had three hits in his return from paternity leave, while Ian Kinsler homered and drove in three runs for the Rangers, who have won six of nine.
Darvish (11-6) had little trouble holding an early seven-run lead in the Japanese All-Star’s first victory of July, yielding three hits and four walks.
Darvish has struck out a career-high 11 four times this season. He set a Rangers rookie record with his sixth double-digit strikeout game, fanning every Angels starter except Alberto Callaspo.
Mike Trout had an RBI single and later scored a run in his 13th straight game for the Angels, tying the franchise record and the AL rookie record. Los Angeles managed just four hits.
Santana’s latest awful start deflated another showdown between the AL West’s top teams in a weekend series that began with Los Angeles’ 6-1 victory Friday, allowing the Angels to gain ground on Texas for the first time since July 5. Napoli and the Rangers pushed their AL West lead over the Angels back to six games with their eighth win in their last 12 games in Anaheim.
Santana gave up eight hits and six runs before leaving the Angel Stadium mound to loud boos from the same crowd that watched him throw a one-hitter last month. The Angels are 4-15 in starts by the Dominican right-hander, who has yielded 23 homers already this season, capped by Beltre’s 18th in the second inning.
Michael Young’s RBI single was among Texas’ three hits in the first inning, but Santana escaped when Torii Hunter sprinted to catch Nelson Cruz’s tailing foul ball in right. Napoli and Torrealba led off the second with back-to-back homers, followed by consecutive doubles Craig Gentry and Kinsler, who slowed a 2-for-22 skid with his run-scoring hit.
The Rangers activated Torrealba before the game after he returned Friday night from his home in Florida, and the catcher finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle in his first game in six days.
Napoli added another homer off reliever David Carpenter in the third. He just won’t stop beating up on the franchise that drafted him and then traded him to Toronto in January 2011 for Vernon Wells, the high-priced outfielder who has been a big disappointment for the Angels.
Napoli, who had three hits in Friday’s series opener, has hit safely in 13 of his 14 games at Angel Stadium since the trade. He has a jaw-dropping eight homers, 12 RBIs and nine multihit games at the Big A for Texas — just two fewer multihit games than the injured Wells, who plays here a bit more often.
Kinsler added a two-run shot in the eighth off Hisanori Takahashi.
Trout drove in the Angels’ first run in the third inning, and he matched Jim Edmonds’ franchise record from 1995 when he scored on Hunter’s fifth-inning single. Trout is the first AL rookie to score in 13 straight games since Don Lenhardt in 1950 — and he got in scoring position by stealing his 22nd consecutive stolen base.
NOTES: Darvish has double-digit strikeouts in four of his last six starts. … Angels SS Erick Aybar left the game in the eighth inning after bruising his right big toe with a foul ball. … Angels C Chris Iannetta began a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake, where Wells is completing a comeback from a long-term injury. Both veterans have been out since May. Iannetta hopes to return next week from a broken wrist and subsequent elbow pain. … Before the game, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Garrett Richards is likely to start Tuesday against Kansas City, which means Jerome Williams is headed to the bullpen with the return of Dan Haren, who will start Sunday’s series finale against 12-game winner Matt Harrison.