Rangers homer twice in 9th to beat Angels 4-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 29, 2013 at 10:35 pm •  Published: July 29, 2013
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Geovany Soto kept anxiously watching the ball as he trotted out of the batter's box. Finally, when it landed in the left-field seats, he thrust his right arm triumphantly into the air and set off quite a celebration for the Texas Rangers.

Soto's game-ending home run, after fellow catcher A.J. Pierzynski had already gone deep in the ninth off Los Angeles Angels closer Ernesto Frieri, gave the Rangers a 4-3 victory Monday night. That snapped a four-game losing streak in which they struggled to score runs.

"I was hoping it would stay fair," Soto said. "I'm the happiest guy."

When Soto got back to the plate, he was mobbed by teammates and got a huge hug for Rangers manager Ron Washington.

Pierzynski led off the ninth by pulling a pitch into the right-field seats, his 11th homer this season snapping a 4-for-27 slump and tying the game. Nelson Cruz followed with a single off Frieri (0-3) before David Murphy grounded into a double play. Soto, who entered the game hitting only .198 this season, then hit a towering flyball down the left-field line.

"You know, A.J. grind one out, Cruz grind one out. And then Murphy smoked that ball. That's just the way things have been going for him. He centers one and they turn a double play," Washington said. "But then Geo pulled us out for us. Had a great at-bat, that's what we needed."

In the Angels clubhouse after the game, Frieri sat silently at his locker for a few minutes, staring up toward the ceiling. Teammates and manager Mike Scioscia came by and patted him on the left shoulder.

The Angels, without slugger Albert Pujols for maybe the rest of the season, lost their fourth straight game and are 2-8 their last 10 road games.

"It's a tough situation. We've been struggling, and I just went out there and gave up the game. We needed that win," Frieri said. "It was a fastball (to Soto). Supposed to be down and away but it was middle-in and up. Every time I miss, I get hurt really bad."

Jason Frasor (1-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for Texas, three days after he gave up a game-ending homer in an 11-inning loss at Cleveland.

Texas had gone 26 innings without scoring a run, two short of the 41-year-old team record, until Ian Kinsler's RBI single in the sixth to get the Rangers within 3-1. They had played 46 innings without leading a game until the second career game-ending homer for Soto, who was catching Matt Garza while Pierzynski got a night as the designated hitter.

"We needed that game after the offensive struggled we've been through the last few weeks," Pierzynski said. "To have a game like that, especially at home after the trip we came off, it's huge."

The Texas comeback spoiled another solid effort for Angels starter Jered Weaver, who allowed only one run with six strikeouts over seven innings. The right-hander has a 1.31 ERA (seven runs in 48 innings) his last seven starts.



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