Rangers cruise past the Angels, 11-7
The Angels rode into Texas on Friday hotter than a summer's day, having won a season-high six games in a row and with a chance to move back atop the American League West standings during their three-game series with the Rangers.
But if the Rangers were worried they sure didn't show it, setting their offense on Cruz control and rolling to an 11-7 victory behind two home runs, a double and six runs batted in from right fielder Nelson Cruz.
Cruz also had an infield single, matching career highs with four hits and three runs scored while finishing a triple short of the cycle as Texas increased its division lead to three games over the second-place Angels.
Cruz, dropped to seventh in the batting order for the first time this season, opened the scoring in the second inning, following a Mike Napoli single and Mitch Moreland's double with a two-run double of his own. He then led off the fourth inning with a mammoth 452-foot home run to dead center on an 0-2 pitch.
It was the 10th-longest home run in the 17-year history of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
And inning later Cruz rolled a one-out dribbler about 50 feet up the third-base line for a single, loading the bases for David Murphy, who unloaded them with a line drive just inside the right-field foul pole for a grand slam.
That chased Angels starter Dan Haren, who gave up a season-high 11 hits and matched a season-high with seven runs allowed. Haren (13-7), who lost for just the second time since mid June, has a 5.76 ERA In his last four starts, having given up 31 hits in 25 innings.
Cruz hit his second homer of the game and 28th of the season off Jerome Williams in a four-run sixth that gave him six RBIs in a game for the third time this season -- no other major leaguer has done it more than once this year -- while giving the Rangers an 11-0 lead.
Every starter except center fielder Endy Chavez contributed at least one hit in the Rangers' 18-hit attack, with seven of them going for extra bases.
The Angels, who pounded out 14 hits, showed some life late, scoring once in the seventh on Bobby Wilson's two-out bloop single, four more times in the eighth -- three of those coming on Russell Branyan's home run into the second deck in right field -- and twice more in the ninth on a two-out, two-run homer by Howie Kendrick.
Every Angel who batted had at least one hit.
-- Kevin Baxter reporting from Arlington, Texas
Photo: Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz is congratulated by third base coach Dave Anderson after hitting a three-run home run against the Angels in the sixth inning Friday night. Credit: Jim Cowsert / US Presswire