Beltre, Rangers dump Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Adrian Beltre loves the Los Angeles Angels.
Better put, Beltre loves playing against the Angels.
Beltre homered and drove in four runs to lead the Texas Rangers to a 5-3 win over the Angels on Monday night at Angel Stadium.
The win moved the Rangers (62-62) within two games of the Minnesota Twins (64-60) for the second American League wild card. The Angels (64-61) are a half-game back. The Seattle Mariners (64-62) are one game behind, and the Kansas City Royals (62-61) are 1 1/2 games back.
Rangers starter Cole Hamels (9-1) gave up two runs on three hits and two walks in seven innings. He struck out three.
The big blow of the game came off the bat of Beltre, who hit a three-run homer in the third inning off Angels starter Tyler Skaggs. It turned a 2-1 edge into a 5-1 cushion, a lead big enough for Hamels to work with and spoiling the night for Skaggs.
Beltre is putting up Hall of Fame numbers, and many of his totals have come against the Angels. He has more runs (126), hits (259), doubles (51), homers (43) and RBIs (156) against the Angels than against any other club.
Skaggs (1-4) allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings, not nearly good enough on a night Hamels was strong.
Hamels gave up an RBI single to Martin Maldonado in the second inning and an RBI groundout to C.J. Cron in the sixth, but nothing more.
The Angels threatened in the eighth inning with Hamels out of the game, loading the bases on three walks by Rangers reliever Jose Leclerc. However, with two outs and the bases loaded, lefty Alex Claudio entered the game and got Jefry Marte on a grounder to shortstop to end the inning.
Claudio remained in the game to pitch the ninth, and he had to face Mike Trout representing the tying run with two on and two outs. Trout singled to drive in one run, but Claudio got Albert Pujols on a grounder to first, earning his seventh save.
NOTES: Both the Angels and Rangers made several roster moves before the game. The Angels placed both RHP JC Ramirez (strained right elbow) and RHP Andrew Bailey (strained right shoulder) on the disabled list while calling up LHP Jose Alvarez from Triple-A Salt Lake. LHP Tyler Skaggs was activated from the bereavement list to fill the other roster spot. ... The Rangers placed RHP Matt Bush (sprained right knee) on the disabled list and optioned 2B Phil Gosselin to Triple-A Round Rock. RHP Nick Gardewine was called up from Double-A Frisco, and INF/OF Ryan Rua was called up from Triple-A Round Rock. ... Texas 3B Joey Gallo did not travel with the club to Anaheim and remains under concussion protocol after he and Bush collided while chasing a pop fly in the eighth inning of Sunday's game. Gallo has not been placed on the DL.