BY: Richard W. Humphrey
The Rangers’ four game series with the Angels and six game winning streak came to an end Thursday night in Anaheim with a 2-1 loss to Los Angeles. League ERA leader Jered Weaver and Colby Lewis locked horns in a fantastic pitching duel.
After six innings, the game was still scoreless. In the seventh, Mike Napoli tagged Weaver for a home run, his 20th of the year. Weaver left after seven having allowed the single run on six hits. Lewis also left after seven innings with an even better pitching line than Weaver – no runs on only four hits allowed. Ultimately, neither figured in the pitching decisions.
Texas reached the ninth inning holding on to the 1-0 lead and three outs away from the team’s first ever four-game sweep in Anaheim. Closer Neftali Feliz was deemed unavailable by manager Ron Washington after appearing in four of the previous five games and warming up in the other. Newly acquired Mike Adams was called upon to get those last three outs, but he retired no one. Torii Hunter led off the inning with a single, and Mark Trumbo followed with his 23rd home run of the season for a 2-1 walk off win by the Angels.
Despite the disappointing finish, this trip to southern California was a rousing success for the Rangers. Texas left on the current road trip last week with a 1.5 game lead, and seven games later, the team headed to Chicago six games ahead of the Angels with 37 left to play. Make no mistake about it, the Rangers taking three of four from Los Angeles this week put a severe dent in the the Angels’ hopes and chances of making the post season. The Angels’ series also concluded a schedule stretch of 10 games against the other three West Division opponents in which Texas was 8-2.
Friday’s and Saturday’s scheduled starting pitchers against the White Sox, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando, departed Thursday afternoon for the Windy City. The rest of the team left after Thursday’s game and arrived in the wee hours Friday morning. Harrison (10-8) opposes Jake Peavy (5-5) Friday night, while Ogando (12-5) faces John Danks (5-9) Saturday. Sunday afternoon’s finale pits Derek Holland (11-4) against Gavin Floyd (10-10).