Rangers avoid sweep in Anaheim

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Mark Teixeira's first home run since coming off the disabled list came at a good time.

Teixeira led off the 11th inning with his 13th homer of the season and hit an RBI double in the eighth, leading the Rangers to a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.

"I really worked hard while I was on the disabled list to make sure I didn't lose a step when I got back," said Teixeira, activated on Friday after being sidelined since June 9 because of a strained left quadriceps muscle. "The drills and the work that I was doing when I was hurt, watching video and tracking balls in the cage, that was all to make sure I didn't lose too much timing. I feel as good as I did before I left."

Angels starter Jered Weaver allowed a pair of unearned runs and four hits in seven innings, struck out six and retired his last 11 batters. But the Rangers tied the score at 4 in the eighth against Scot Shields with two-out RBI doubles by Teixeira and Marlon Byrd, snapping Shields' scoreless streak at 24 2-3 innings.

Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez pitched two perfect innings, but Justin Speier (0-1) came on in the 11th and threw a 3-2 pitch that Teixeira deposited into the first row of seats above the 18-foot wall in right field.

The homer came less than 24 hours after Speier struck out the side in his first game off the disabled list. Teixeira was one of the batters he fanned.

"Last night it was a backdoor split, which was an amazing pitch," said Teixeira, who started at DH for only the third time this season. "Today I think it was a hard split or a fastball that he took a little bit off of to sink it. But he kind of left it up a little bit and I put a good swing on it."

C.J. Wilson (1-1) got one out for the win and Eric Gagne earned his 13th save in 14 attempts.

Chone Figgins was 3-for-4 with a pair of tiebreaking RBI singles. He also stole three bases to break the Angels' record for career steals. He stole second in the fifth, eclipsing the 186 steals of Gary Pettis, current Rangers first base coach.

After Figgins' achievement was flashed on the video board, Pettis tipped his cap toward second base from the top step of the first base dugout and applauded.

"He did something special, so he should be congratulated," Pettis said. "I was just as much of a fan as everyone else was. I mean, when someone does something well, they should be applauded. He did a wonderful thing today. It was just good for me to actually be here and see it happen. I was very happy to take part in it."

Figgins was glad he was able to do it with Pettis in the house. The two speedsters first met when Figgins was playing in the Colorado Rockies' farm system and Pettis was an outfield and baserunning coordinator with the White Sox.

"When Pettis was with the White Sox, he always told me I was a good player," Figgins said. "It's tough to try to celebrate, because I love to win so much. To have a special day like this and lose, it's tough."

Figgins' second clutch hit came during a three-run fifth for the AL West leaders. Orlando Cabrera added a sacrifice fly, and Vladimir Guerrero beat the shift on the left side of the infield by grounding an outside pitch several feet to the right of second base for an RBI double.

Brandon McCarthy allowed four runs on six hits over six innings with four strikeouts and two walks. In his previous four starts, McCarthy left the game with the Rangers trailing 4-0, 1-0, 3-0 and 2-0.

"When you get runs, you take them. If you don't, you know at some point you'll get them," McCarthy said. "It'll all average out as the season goes on. So my job is just to keep pitching well and throwing up zeros, whether we're scoring runs or not. I got two runs today and didn't make it hold up, and I was livid about it when I left the game."

The errors that led to the runs were committed by Figgins at second and Reggie Willits in right -- both out of position. Figgins started at second for the second time this season in place of injured Howie Kendrick. Willits made his ninth start in right field while Guerrero was the DH.

Notes

Pettis was caught stealing 47 times while playing for the Angels. Figgins has been nabbed 60 times. ... The Angels loaded the bases in the eighth against Ron Mahay, but Joaquin Benoit got out of it by retiring pinch-hitter Maicer Izturis and Jeff Mathis on popups. ... Izturis lost his bat while swinging at a pitch and it went flying toward the Rangers' dugout, where Pettis used his quick feet one more time to get out of harm's way.


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