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Rangers Sweep the Angels, Move Into Tie with the A’s

After an impatient wait, the Texas Rangers (65-50) defeated the Los Angeles Angels (51-62) 10-3 on Wednesday and are now tied with the Oakland Athletics (64-49) for first place in the AL West.

The win capped a three-game series with the Rangers sweeping the Angels. This follows last week’s sweep of them and a turnaround for the team after losing four straight games. On July 28, the Rangers were sitting six games behind the A’s and now they have won seven consecutive games over their division foe–their longest win streak against them.

Adrian Beltre has been a great contributor in the wins against the Angels including a two-run home run in the first series and Wednesday’s play as well as the the Rangers’ ability to steal bases against the Angels.

On Wednesday, they stole seven bases after taking six in Tuesday’s game. The Rangers now sit as only the second team since 1917 that has stolen a minimum of six bases in two straight games. And the 13 stolen bases combined represents a the greatest number in the team’s history with the single-game record sitting at nine.

As for their move to the top spot, the Rangers haven’t had a share of it since July 1 when they were ahead of the A’s by a half game. Look for this battle to continue through the rest of the regular season and in September, it should be interesting when the teams meet for two series.

Adrian Beltre

Adrian Beltre

As noted, contributing to their wins has been Beltre’s strong performances. On Wednesday, he hit a home run and three RBIs while also scoring three runs.

The player said of their first-place tie via the Associated Press, “That’s the place we were supposed to be. I know Oakland’s been playing well this season, but we assumed we would be there. We haven’t won anything yet, but at least we’re going in the right direction. We’ve been more consistent and getting the big hits in clutch situations.”

Righty Alexi Ogando (5-3) snapped his five-game losing streak as the winning pitcher. He got off to a rough start after giving up a two-run home run in the first inning to the birthday boy Mike Trout. In his five innings of pitching, Ogando gave up two runs, four hits and had four strikeouts.

He hadn’t won since May 15.

For the Angels, righty Tommy Hanson (4-3) took the mound for 4 2/3 innings. He gave up five runs, seven hits and three walks.

Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton

And this wouldn’t be a good recap without noting what former Ranger and current Angel Josh Hamilton did in this series. The player didn’t play well, as he went 0-for-12 with his five strikeouts. He is batting .217 with 16 home runs and 51 RBIs.

You can’t help but ask what would have happened if he had remained with the Rangers.

As for his former team, they have won their last nine of 10 games. Leonys Martin has moved to the top batting spot, which is just another contribution to the team’s good play. He’s been on a roll, stealing bases with six stolen over the last two games–a first for a Rangers player to steal three bases in back-to-back games, according to MLB.com.

But can this good play continue? Looking ahead, the Rangers will get the day off on Thursday. They’ll open a three-game series against the lowly Houston Astros this weekend

Righty Matt Garza (7-2) will take the mound in Game 1 against lefty Erik Bedard (3-8). Odds for the game aren’t out yet but I think we know where they’ll land.

The Rangers sit at 7/1 to win the AL Pennant and 16/1 to win this year’s World Series.





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