Rangers fall to Angels in slugfest
Nine-run third inning not enough for Texas in series opener
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers had one big rally in them, but not two.The Rangers overcame a seven-run deficit with a nine-run third inning, but the Angels still rallied for a 15-13 victory at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Friday. It's the second-most runs scored in an American League game this season, topped only by the Rangers' 19-17 loss to the Red Sox on Aug. 12. "We just couldn't stop it," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We couldn't stop the onslaught." This also was tied for the fourth-highest-scoring game in the history of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The two highest were a 26-7 victory over the Orioles on April 19, 1996, and a 17-16 win over the Athletics on May 5, 2000. Six Rangers pitchers gave up 22 hits, the most by the Angels in a game this season. Texas had 19 hits, as the teams combined for the most hits in an American League game this season. Josh Hamilton was 4-for-5 for the Rangers, but Milton Bradley, in the lineup for only the third time in 12 games, went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts, as he clearly still is having trouble with a sore left wrist. The loss left the Rangers 75-79 on the season with eight games remaining. They'll have to win seven of their last eight to finish with a winning record for only the second time in nine seasons. Texas starter Matt Harrison, who had averaged six innings per start over his last four outings, was unable to get past three, the result of what Washington said was a "dead arm." "There wasn't anything wrong with Harrison. He just had a dead arm," Washington said. "Nothing came out of it. He was topping out at 85-86 [mph]. Health-wise, he was feeling good." Harrison allowed seven runs on nine hits, including a personal-high three home runs. Torii Hunter hit a three-run homer off him in the first, and Kendry Morales and Mike Napoli had back-to-back shots off him in the third. "My fastball definitely wasn't there tonight," Harrison said. "I tried to force the issue and figured if I threw harder, I'd get guys out. But I left balls over the plate, and they didn't miss them." The home runs gave the Angels a 7-0 lead before the Rangers rallied with nine runs in the bottom of the third against Halos starter Jon Garland. Chris Davis capped the rally with a three-run home run, giving the Rangers a 9-7 lead. It was the most runs scored by the Rangers in an inning this year. Michael Young started the nine-run rally with a single up the middle, but he aggravated the fracture in the ring finger on his right hand. He had to come out of the game and is listed as day-to-day. It's the second straight game Young has had to leave after aggravating the finger. "He's been going through this all year," Washington said. "It's just that the last couple of times out it has been worse." The Angels responded to the Rangers' outburst with one run in the fourth and five more in the fifth to go up, 13-9. Jamey Wright allowed five of the six runs and ended up taking the loss. He faced nine batters and retired two of them, one on a double play in the fourth that saved that from becoming a bigger inning. "Today I was terrible," Wright said. "I'll be better next time, but I couldn't be worse. I just didn't pitch well." The Rangers struck back with three in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out two-run triple by German Duran, who came in for Young. Duran then scored on a wild pitch. That made it 13-12, but the Rangers were unable to finish the comeback. Hamilton followed with a double to right-center field, but Angels reliever Kevin Jepson struck out Bradley to end the threat. Rangers reliever Kameron Loe had to come out of the game in the seventh inning after getting hit in the right arm by Erick Aybar's wicked line drive back to the mound. Loe threw wildly to first on the play, allowing Aybar to reach third. He scored on a single by Garret Anderson. Loe ended up with a bruise on his forearm, but the baseball hit all muscle and missed the elbow. He should be fine.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.