(Sports Network) – Juan Rivera hit a solo home run in each of his last two at-bats, including the go-ahead blast in the 11th inning, as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim held on to beat AL West-champion Texas, 5-4, in the continuation of a four-game series.
Rivera’s first home run gave the Angels a 4-2 lead in the ninth, but the Rangers scored two runs off Fernando Rodney in the bottom of the frame to force extras.
Jered Weaver, making his final start of the season for the Angels, gave up a pair of solo home runs to Mitch Moreland. The right-hander scattered six hits through seven innings, walked one and struck out four to raise his total to an MLB-best 233 — one more than Seattle’s Felix Hernandez and two more than San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum.
Tommy Hunter, who will start Game 4, if necessary for the Rangers in the ALDS, allowed a solo home run to Torii Hunter among three hits over five full frames.
Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton went 0-for-3 in his return to the lineup. Hamilton had missed 24 straight games after breaking two ribs while crashing into the wall to make a catch on September 4 in Minnesota.
Down 2-1, the Angels moved ahead in the eighth. Maicer Izturis singled home the go-ahead run and Peter Bourjos preceded Izturis with a game-tying sacrifice fly off Rangers reliever Michael Kirkman.
Rivera extended the lead with a two-out shot to left-center field off Mark Lowe.
Texas took advantage of Rodney’s wildness to tie the game. Ian Kinsler was hit by a pitch and Moreland drew a walk, both with one out. Bengie Molina then hit a grounder off the glove of third baseman Alberto Callaspo to plate Kinsler. One out later, Rodney picked off pinch-runner Esteban German at first. While German was caught in a rundown, Moreland inched his way down the third-base line before jumping over the catcher to score the tying run. Rodney had flipped the ball to the first baseman Rivera, whose throw to the plate was off-target.
With one gone in the 11th, Rivera hammered a 2-0 pitch from Matt Harrison (3-2) over the left-field wall.
Bobby Cassevah replaced Rich Thompson (2-0) on the mound for Los Angeles in the bottom of the inning and was promptly lifted after walking Moreland and hitting Taylor Teagarden on a bunt attempt.
With Michael Kohn on the mound, Julio Borbon pulled the bunt back and hit a chopper over a charging Callaspo. However, shortstop Andrew Romine fielded the ball and beat Moreland to the bag at third. Kohn then struck out both Elvis Andrus and Michael Young to end the game and pick up his first career save.
Torii Hunter had staked the Angels to a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Moreland went deep in the fifth and seventh innings to give Texas a one-run edge.
Rodney blew his seventh save of the season, a new career high…Texas designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero played in his 2,000th game…Ten of the 17 meetings between the Angels and Rangers this season have been one-run games.