Orlando Cabrera hit the first pitch of the 10th inning for a
home run, an inning after Darin Erstad's game-tying leadoff homer
off Francisco Cordero, and the Angels won 7-6 Monday in the home
opener for Texas."When you battle back and come back and win a game, I don't
think you ever feel like you stole one," Angels manager Mike
Scioscia said. "We came back against one of the best closers in
baseball, and that makes us feel good."The Angels came back from a 6-2 deficit against a Texas bullpen
missing its top two setup men. And Cordero, who allowed just one
homer in 67 appearances last season, pitched for the third straight
day.Erstad, with just 11 homers over 753 at-bats the last two
seasons, was down 0-2 after fouling a 98 mph pitch off his hands.
But Cordero then hung a slider."What can I say? We've got good pitchers, but we're going
through a rough time," said Cordero, who has two blown saves among
his four chances.Cordero struck out two batters to get out of the ninth, but
didn't return in the 10th because he saved the previous two games.
Cabrera homered off R.A. Dickey (0-1).The Angels and Texas have played four of their seven games
against each other. All were one-run games, Los Angeles winning two
of three at home last week.All three Texas wins, and three of its losses, were by one run."I don't look at seven games as telling what we are. I feel
good about this club," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said.
"There are too many games. We can't let these create a mind-set.
And our guys won't."Texas was in playoff contention until the 158th game last
season, an 11-inning home loss that was their third straight to the
Angels, who went on to win the AL West.But this season is just a week old."We expect the West to be won at the end of September, as
usual," said shortstop Michael Young, the only Ranger with hits in
every game.After Scot Shields (2-0) allowed just one hit over two innings,
including a perfect ninth against the heart of the Texas lineup,
Francisco Rodriguez got his second save in as many chances.The Rangers broke out the big bats early, but only had two of
their 14 hits the final 4 2/3 innings against three relievers.Alfonso Soriano hit a leadoff home run before Rod Barajas and
Hank Blalock also had solo homers in the first five innings for a
5-2 lead.Barajas broke a 2-all tie when he homered with two outs in the
fourth. Blalock's homer led off the fifth before Chad Allen had an
RBI single and another run scored on Chris Bootcheck's wild pitch.All three Texas homers came off Jarrod Washburn, who gave up six
runs on 12 hits with three walks over 5 1/3 innings. He threw six
shutout innings against the Rangers last week.An out after Soriano's 23rd career leadoff homer and third homer
this season, Michael Young tripled into the right field corner and
Mark Teixeira singled for a 2-0 lead.Garret Anderson had a two-out, two-run single in the third to
tie the game. The Angels didn't score again until the seventh when
Steve Finley had a leadoff double and scored on Lou Merloni's
sacrifice fly, making it 6-3.Finley had a two-run double in the eighth, which ended with
pitch-hitter Jeff DaVanon being called out at first, even though
replays showed pitcher Doug Brocail didn't have his foot on the
base while taking the throw from second baseman Soriano. Manager
Mike Scioscia argued to no avail.Kenny Rogers pitched seven solid innings in his 500th appearance
(224th start) for Texas, the team for which he is in the second
season of his third stint. The 40-year-old left-hander limited the
Angels to three runs on eight hits.Before the game, the widow of Johnny Oates helped unveil the
former manager's No. 26 jersey on the left-field wall. The Rangers
will retire the number in a ceremony later this season.Oates, who managed the Rangers to their only three AL West
titles (1996, 1998 and 1999), died Dec. 24 from a brain tumor that
had been discovered more than three years earlier.
Cordero converted a record 49 of 54 saves for Texas last
season. ... Blalock homered in the home opener for the third
straight year. He was 3-for-5, and is 9-for-21 since starting the
season 0-for-10. ... Teixeira walked twice on his 25th birthday.
... Texas is 17-17 in home openers, 5-7 at its current stadium.