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Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Angels 3

9/8/2013

The Texas Rangers avoided a sweep in Anaheim, and stayed within 1 ½ games of the Oakland Athletics in the American League West with a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday afternoon.

AL West update: The Rangers needed to end a three-game losing streak, and they also needed to hold serve with Oakland in the American League West. The A's beat the Houston Astros for a third straight day, winning 7-2. Oakland has an off day on Monday while the Rangers return home on Monday to open a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Rally time: Facing a fourth straight loss on the road trip, the Rangers rallied in the top of the seventh for two runs. Trailing 3-2, No. 9 hitter Leonys Martin drew a one-walk walk. Then Ian Kinsler, moved back into the leadoff spot on Sunday, had a ground-rule double to put two runners in scoring position. Elvis Andrus followed with a sacrifice fly to right field that wasn't a hit only because of a spectacular catch by the Angels' Kole Calhoun. Martin did smartly tag up from third base to tie the score at 3-3. Alex Rios, moved into the three-hole on Sunday, then had a bloop single to left field on a ball that was misjudged by Angels center fielder Mike Trout, giving the Rangers a 4-3 lead.

Rios goes deep: Rios hit his 16th home run of the season in the top of the first for a 1-0 lead. Texas has still been outscored in the first inning 72-42.

Ogando gets win: Alexi Ogando came in out of the bullpen and delivered 1 ⅓ shutout innings for his sixth victory and first as a reliever this season.

Scheppers gets out of jam: Tanner Scheppers came up big in the bottom of the eighth. With a runner at third and one out, Scheppers struck out Hank Conger and got Grant Green to line out to center field to keep the score at 4-3.

Nathan saves day: Closer Joe Nathan worked a perfect ninth inning, which was needed with Trout scheduled to bat fourth in the inning. Nathan has 39 saves.

Tepesch's good work: The Rangers asked starter Nick Tepesch to keep them in the game while throwing around 60 pitches, and he did it. Tepesch allowed a second-inning home run to Calhoun and that was it. He allowed four hits and had five strikeouts in 3 ⅓ innings.

Up next: The Rangers open a three-game series at home Monday night against the surprising Pittsburgh Pirates. The pitching matchups are: Monday, right-hander Yu Darvish (12-7, 2.91 ERA) versus right-hander Gerrit Cole (6-7, 3.74); Tuesday, left-hander Martin Perez (9-3, 3.41) versus left-hander Francisco Liriano (15-7, 2.98); and Wednesday, right-hander Matt Garza (9-4, 3.90) versus right-hander A.J. Burnett (7-10, 3.31).