Rapid Reaction: Rangers 11, Angels 3
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Nelson Cruz broke his bat on a three-run homer to cap a nine-run fourth inning, guiding the Texas Rangers to a series victory against the Los Angeles Angels with a 11-3 win on Wednesday night.
Floodgates, opened: The Rangers chased rookie left-hander Michael Roth -- a ninth-round selection in last year's draft making his first career start -- in the fourth, sending 13 batters to the plate on the strength of five walks. Cruz delivered the dagger, lifting the first pitch he saw from David Carpenter over the wall in left-center field. Before beginning his trip around the bases, Cruz smiled toward the dugout and gestured that his bat had cracked.
A long frame: The nine runs in the fourth were the most scored by Texas in an inning since Aug. 22, 2012 against Baltimore, the most runs in a road game inning since Aug. 22, 2007, and the most plate appearances in an inning since April of last year.
Ace comes through: For the fourth time this season, Yu Darvish followed a Rangers loss with a win. The right-hander had been 3-0 with a 1.31 ERA pitching in games after a Rangers loss, and surely improved those numbers with six shutout innings Wednesday. Texas is still the only team in baseball that hasn't lost two straight games.
How Yu did it: Darvish had a pitch clocked as high as 98 mph and as low as 61 to keep Angels hitters off balance yet again. He struck out 11, reaching double-digit punchouts for the 11th time in his career and improving his career record against the Halos to 5-1, including 3-1 at Angel Stadium.
Berkman gets his second: Lance Berkman homered for the first time since April 7 and registered his first multihit game since April 9. Before the game, manager Ron Washington said this weekend's weather conditions in Minnesota would determine whether the switch-hitting Berkman, 37, gets a day off, but the designated hitter appears to be finding his groove.
Up next: Nick Tepesch (1-1, 3.07 ERA) looks to bounce back from last week's abrupt ending. Twins right-hander Vance Worley (0-2, 7.11 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound in the opener of the four-game set. First pitch is 7:10 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest, ESPN-FM 103.3 and 1540 AM.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.