Sweet series win: Rangers rip Halos
Texas sets MLB doubles record, crosses 900-run threshold
ANAHEIM -- The Rangers' relentless offense knocked over a couple more milestones Saturday night.Not only did the Rangers set a Major League record for most doubles by a team in one season, they also went over 900 runs for only the fourth time in club history. Plus, Josh Hamilton is back on top of the American League in RBIs after knocking in two runs Saturday. Hank Blalock posted the record-breaking 374th team double, and Hamilton's two-run single in the sixth inning broke both the 900-run barrier and pushed him past Twins first baseman Justin Morneau among AL RBI leaders to cap the Rangers' 8-4 victory over the Angels. "Isn't any doubt we have a good-hitting ballclub," Hamilton said. Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning off Angels starter Ervin Santana to get the Rangers started on their way to their fourth straight win. The club is now 79-82 as it heads into the final day of the season Sunday. Rangers starter Scott Feldman did not always benefit from the Rangers' massive offensive production this season, but he did Saturday to earn his first victory since Aug. 25. Feldman, the pitcher the Rangers couldn't shut down no matter how hard they tried, held the Angels to two runs on five hits in his 25th start en route to finishing the season 6-8 with a 5.29 ERA in 151 1/3 innings. "I thought he did a great job for a guy in his first time out as a starter," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He kept us in the ballgame for the most part any time he went out there. If he was going to pitch one of his better games, I felt it had to be tonight against Santana, and he did that." The Rangers were hoping to hold Feldman under 140 innings in his first year as a starter. But he ended up being their most dependable starter, and now they hope the excessive workload doesn't carry over into next season. "I'm just going to go into the offseason to work hard and get stronger," Feldman said. "I'll shut down the throwing and give my arm a nice break. When it's time to start throwing again, I'll have a nice break for my arm and be strong. I'll be fine." Blalock delivered his record-breaking double in the third inning, a drive into the right-field corner that scored Marlon Byrd and gave the Rangers a 4-1 lead. "That's pretty exciting," Blalock said. "A lot of the credit has to go to [hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo]. That's another record for his hitters and another feather in his cap." Hamilton drove home the last runs of the night for the Rangers with a two-run single to cap a four-run sixth inning. Those runs gave the Rangers a Major League-leading 901 runs. The Rangers scored 928 runs in 1996, 940 runs in '98 and a club-record 945 runs in '99. They won the AL West Division in each of those years. "It's amazing, isn't it?" Washington said. "That's a very resilient offense we had this year. Everybody played a part in it, not just a few guys. Certainly our 1-2-3-4 guys did it all year, but everybody contributed. It was a very fluid offense, and we were able to get it done all year." Hamilton's two RBIs gave him 130 on the season, one ahead of Morneau heading into Sunday. But Morneau could get the slight advantage of an extra game if the Twins end up in a one-game tiebreaker with the White Sox. Statistics in a one-game tiebreaker count on a player's regular-season statistics. But this is just the eighth time a Rangers hitter has reached 130 RBIs in a season. "Everybody knows all that stuff except for me," Hamilton said. "Some of the guys were saying, 'You're on top again,' and I said, 'What do you mean?' That was my goal, to get 130. If that leads the league, then that's great." Santana ended up allowing all eight runs, giving the Rangers 18 runs in two games against the Angels' top two starters. The Rangers had 10 runs off John Lackey on Friday before beating up on Santana. "He [Santana] was working on making pitches and getting outs," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "His stuff was good. The couple of mistakes he made were because they've got a lot of power in their lineup and are swinging the bats well right now."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.