Arlington, TX (Sports Network) – Ervin Santana was on top of his game in eight solid innings on the hill, as the LA Angels of Anaheim pulled out a much- needed 6-2 win over the Texas Rangers in the third meeting of a four-game series between the American League West rivals.
Santana (9-7) came in with a 6.06 earned-run average in 16 career starts against the Rangers but silenced the division leaders to two runs on five hits and two walks, finishing with eight strikeouts.
“That’s a tough lineup to go through, and Ervin really pitched a terrific ballgame,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Erick Aybar went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, Jeff Mathis went 2- for-4 with a solo homer and Alberto Callaspo drove in two runs for the Angels, who recorded 13 hits to help snap a three-game slide.
Michael Young and Nelson Cruz each belted a solo home run, while Scott Feldman (5-9) was touched for three runs on seven hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings to take the loss for the Rangers, who had won consecutive one-run contests to start the series and still lead the Angels by six games.
The Angels left a pair in scoring position in the fourth, but broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the fifth. Mathis got things started by getting just enough of Feldman’s 3-1 offering to clear the wall in left-center. Reggie Willits followed with a single and scored on Aybar’s triple to right.
Feldman was pulled with one out and two on in the sixth, and Callaspo, in his second start with his new club since coming over from Kansas City in a trade, greeted reliever Alexi Ogando with an RBI single.
Young got the Rangers on the board with his third home run in as many games in the bottom half, but the Angels pulled away in the seventh.
Darren Oliver gave up three straight singles to start the seventh, the last a Maicer Izturis RBI hit to right. Bobby Abreu followed with a run-scoring double just inside the first-base bag and later scored on Callaspo’s sacrifice fly.
Cruz’s 13th homer of the year in the bottom half accounted for the final margin, as Fernando Rodney polished off Santana’s gem with a scoreless ninth.
“Some days you go out there and the other team plays better and they beat you, and I think that was the case today,” Rangers first baseman Chris Davis said.
Santana came in with a 2.79 ERA in nine road starts this season…Feldman has not won since June 18, a span of six starts…The Angels had lost 10 of 13 at Rangers Ballpark since the start of last season…Texas still leads the season series, 5-3…The Angels will go for the series split on Sunday with Trevor Bell squaring off against undefeated Tommy Hunter.