ARLINGTON (AP) — Adrian Beltre led off the bottom of the ninth for Texas with a home run to beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 on Wednesday night, completing a three-game series sweep in which the Rangers won each on game-ending homers.
There was no doubt about another dramatic victory for the Rangers when Michael Kohn (1-1) left a 2-2 pitch over the middle of the plate and Beltre hit it deep into the left-field seats for his 23rd homer.
Nelson Cruz also homered for the Rangers, his 25th making it 1-0 in the second.
Josh Hamilton connected for the only Angels run, a 422-foot blast to right-center in the seventh. His 16th homer tied the game.
Rangers closer Joe Nathan (3-1) struck out two and walked one in the top of the ninth to win for the second night in a row.
Texas won the series opener Monday night when A.J. Pierzynski and Geovany Soto both homered in the ninth inning off Angels closer Ernesto Frieri, Soto’s blast providing a 4-3 victory. Then on Tuesday, after trailing four times, the Rangers again scored in the ninth off Frieri and won 14-11 after Leonys Martin hit a three-run homer in the 10th.
It was the first time in their team history the Rangers have won three in a row on game-ending homers. The last major league team to do it was Detroit in 2004.
Jerome Williams of the Angels and rookie Martin Perez for Texas, the starting pitchers, each allowed only one run while pitching into the eighth. Both had been struggling before their duel.
Williams scattered eight hits over 7 2-3 innings with two walks and one strikeout. The right-hander, who had an 8.90 ERA and five losses his previous seven starts, left with two on in the eighth, when Kohn got Ian Kinsler on an inning-ending flyball.
Perez had allowed at least four earned runs in three consecutive starts. The lefty struck out four, walked two and allowed only four hits in 7 1-3 innings before Tanner Scheppers closed out the eighth.
Cruz is among several players waiting to find out if they will be suspended by Major League Baseball in its investigation related to the Biogenesis case. Discipline is expected to be announced by the end of the weekend, which means Thursday’s makeup at home against Arizona could be his last home game for the Rangers, depending on the timing and length of any suspension.
The All-Star right fielder, who leads the Rangers with 25 homers and 73 RBIs, is eligible for free agency after the season.
Cruz came out of Tuesday night’s game with a bruised left quad after being hit by a ball while running the bases.
Martin and Elvis Andrus had consecutive hits to start the Rangers first, but both were retired on the bases.
Martin had a bunt single but was thrown out trying to go to third on Andrus’ single to right. Andrus was then picked off at first base by catcher Chris Iannetta.
Andrus’ single extended his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest active streak in the majors.
Notes: The game took only 2 hours, 30 minutes to play. A night earlier, it took 4 hours, 46 minutes for 10 innings. … The Rangers’ game against Arizona on Thursday is the makeup of a May 29 game that was postponed because of unplayable field conditions after the grounds crew was unable to get the tarp in place during a severe thunderstorm about an hour before the game.
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