ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Ernesto Frieri isn't about to stop throwing fastballs in the ninth inning for the Los Angeles Angels, even after A.J. Pierzynski made him pay for one.
Pierzynski hit a tiebreaking homer with two outs in the ninth, and the Texas Rangers rallied from a late three-run deficit for a 7-6 win Monday night that snapped the Angels' three-game winning streak.
Frieri (0-1) has been a dependable reliever since joining the Angels last season, but his power pitching wasn't enough to get past the Rangers' veterans in the ninth.
Shortly after Adrian Beltre's drive fell inches short of the fence, Pierzynski hit his fourth homer of the season to right, capping an offense-dominated meeting between AL West rivals.
"They were all swinging because they know that I use my fastball and I keep doing it," Frieri said. "If I pitch tomorrow, I'm going to go out there with my best stuff. If I'm going to get beat, I'm going to get beat like that — using my best stuff. I'm not a breaking ball guy."
Pierzynski watched Beltre's drive fall short, but didn't change his strategy, either.
"When I hit mine, I was afraid it wasn't going to go out, either," Pierzynski said. "Luckily it went just far enough."
Mitch Moreland had three hits and drove in a run for the Rangers, who also got three hits from Elvis Andrus in their fourth consecutive victory. The Angels had a 6-3 lead after the sixth inning, but Texas tied it with three runs in the seventh — including an RBI single from Pierzynski right after he fouled a ball off his right kneecap.
Pierzynski is reviled in both of California's AL ballparks, largely for his postseason exploits against the Angels and Oakland Athletics over the years. But the constant boos at Angel Stadium don't bother the 36-year-old veteran at all.
"I actually love it," he said. "It's an awesome atmosphere. This is one of my favorite ballparks. This is where I played my first big league game, so this is a special place to me."
Chris Iannetta doubled in the go-ahead run and Luis Jimenez got his first career RBIs on a two-run single during that sixth-inning rally for the Angels, who couldn't overcome Texas' 15 hits.
Josh Hamilton had four hits against his former team after getting bumped out of the cleanup spot, and Howie Kendrick had a two-run double for the Angels in the series opener. Los Angeles beat defending AL champion Detroit three times by a combined 22-4, while the Rangers won three straight over Seattle during their only home series in a 19-day span.