ARLINGTON (AP) – Elvis Andrus and the Texas Rangers were not going to let the Angels beat them again — even if they needed two improbable comebacks to win.
Andrus had a game-ending two-run single in the 10th inning, and the Rangers rallied from six runs down to beat Los Angeles 11-10 on Wednesday night.
“Our mentality was to win no matter what,” said Andrus, who went 4 for 6 with three RBIs. “It was a great game for us.”
The Rangers came into this four-game series leading the Angels by five games in the American League West. Los Angeles won the first two games of the series by a combined 21-10 and were on its way to three in a row.
Texas was down 7-1 in the fifth before rallying to force extra innings. The Angels scored three in the 10th inning to take a 10-7 lead before the wild finish to a game that lasted 4 hours, 1 minute.
The Rangers extended their lead in the American League West to four games over the Angels and 4 1/2 over third-place Oakland.
“We kept battling, we kept grinding and we got blessed,” Texas manager Ron Washington said.
Nelson Cruz homered, and Mitch Moreland singled off Jason Isringhausen (3-1) to bring the Rangers to 10-9. With the bases loaded, Andrus drove a single past third baseman Alberto Callaspo to set off a wild celebration near second base.
“It was a crazy game in Texas,” Isringhausen said. “I’ve seen a lot of them. A six-run lead is not safe.”
The comebacks seemed unlikely because the Texas offense struggled mightily during a 9-14 July. The Rangers scored 81 runs in the month, last in the American League.
It was only the second time in Texas history the club has rallied to win after trailing by at least three in extra innings. The Rangers also did it May 18, 1975, against Detroit.
“It was great to break out like this,” said Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler, who homered in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 7. “Hopefully we can take that into (Thursday).”
Albert Pujols connected twice for his second straight multihomer game. His second home run, a two-run shot in the 10th, was one of four long balls hit between the two teams in the final two innings.
Chris Iannetta also homered in the 10th for the Angels.
Joe Nathan (2-3) gave up Iannetta’s homer on a full-count pitch and Pujols’ two-run drive but still earned the win.
It was Pujols’ 44th multihomer run of his career, third-most among active players. He had never had consecutive multihomer games in the regular season.
Kinsler’s solo shot off Ernesto Frieri with one out in the ninth forced extra innings. It was Frieri’s first blown save in 13 chances.
“It was a great, great game on both sides,” Angels right fielder Torii Hunter said. “We got their closer, and they got our closer. It was a lot of fun. But at the same time, it broke my heart.”
Cruz kept the Rangers within a run in the top of the ninth when he threw out Kendrys Morales trying to score on a single to right.
New acquisition Ryan Dempster will take the mound for the Rangers on Thursday night as they look to split the series against their rivals. He will face left-hander C.J. Wilson, who left Texas as a free agent in the offseason.
“It was a great team effort from top to bottom,” Texas’ Michael Young said. “It was definitely a great win for us.”
Pujols had four RBIs to give him 1,400 for his career. Hunter and Callaspo each added two RBIs for Los Angeles.
Yu Darvish started for the Rangers and equaled his season-high by allowing seven runs and walking six over five innings.
Garrett Richards, who was starting in place of an ailing Dan Haren, gave up five runs and nine hits before he was chased with two outs in the sixth.
The Angels led 7-1 before the Rangers rallied with four in the fifth and one in the eighth.
David Murphy, who was 3 for 3 and reached base five times, had an RBI single in the eighth that closed the gap to 7-6.
This was Texas’ largest comeback since a six-run rally Aug. 13, 2010, against the Red Sox.
The Angels scored six runs on only two hits in their third-inning outburst. They benefited from four walks, an error and Darvish’s poor throw on a fielder’s choice as 10 men came to the plate.
Pujols lined a 1-1 pitch from Darvish into the Angels bullpen — the first hit for Los Angeles in the game — to make it 4-0.
After two more walks in the third, Callaspo doubled in a pair to make it 6-0.
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