Final

Series: Game 1 of 2

LA Angels leads 1-0 (as of 4/14)

Game 1: Monday, April 14
LA Angels7Final
Texas4
Game 2: Tuesday, April 15
LA Angels7Final
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Angels 7

(8-6, 5-3 away)

Rangers 4

(5-8, 2-5 home)

    8:05 PM ET, April 14, 2008

    Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    LAA 230020000 7 10 1
    TEX 300000010 4 9 1

    W: E. Santana (2-0)

    L: J. Jennings (0-3)

    S: F. Rodriguez (4)

    Napoli homers to back Santana as Angels beat Rangers

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Ervin Santana was struggling in Texas -- again. With some encouragement from his Los Angeles teammates, though, he stayed positive and came out a winner.

    Santana rebounded from a three-run first to pitch seven strong innings, Mike Napoli homered and the Angels handed the Texas Rangers their fourth straight loss, 7-4 Monday night.

    Santana (2-0) came in 1-4 with an 8.92 ERA in seven career road starts against the Rangers, and he quickly fell behind, allowing Hank Blalock's two-run homer and Michael Young's sacrifice fly in the first. But after loading the bases in the third, he retired 11 straight.

    "He's got great stuff," Napoli said. "We let him know it to keep him confident. He's not letting up. He's really going after it."

    Santana was not in the clubhouse after the game.

    Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save in five chances.

    The Angels had lost seven of eight against the Rangers, including two of three in California April 4-6.

    "Against us, they make all the plays," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who was ejected for arguing a called third strike in the eighth inning.

    Los Angeles went in front 5-3 in the second against Rangers starter Jason Jennings (0-3) on Napoli's leadoff homer, Vladimir Guerrero's run-scoring double and Garret Anderson's RBI single.

    Texas loaded the bases in the third, but Santana escaped when he got Marlon Byrd to ground into a double play.

    "That was a big play in the game," Scioscia said. "After that, he got better as the game went along. Once he found it, he started pounding the strike zone. We really saw him come to life."

    With two outs in the fifth the Angels scored two more runs when Byrd misplayed a line drive by Maicer Izturis in right field for a 7-3 lead. Byrd charged the ball and it skipped past him for a two-base error that allowed Izturis to race to third as Guerrero and Casey Kotchman crossed the plate.

    "[Byrd] probably wishes he had played it on one hop," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

    Jennings, a 16-game winner for Colorado in 2002 before right elbow problems threatened his career last season with Houston, gave up seven runs -- six earned -- and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, increasing his ERA to 8.79 in three starts.

    "He's coming off an arm injury and needs time," Washington said. "He has a track record of performing and we hope he starts performing the way he has in the past."

    Jennings thought he threw the ball better than in his first two starts this season, but he offered no excuses.

    "I can't put us in a hole," Jennings said. "To not have a shutdown inning after we scored three in the first was a bummer. The thing is, I felt really good. There were some positives in how I threw the ball the last three innings."

    Scioscia was ejected in the eighth for arguing a called third strike against Guerrero.

    The Angels had the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth when home plate umpire Joe West called out Guerrero on a pitch by Jamey Wright that appeared to be low.

    Guerrero stared at West and Scioscia came out of the dugout to dispute the call, receiving his first ejection of the season and 18th of his career.

    Game notes


    The Angels expect to be without 2B Howie Kendrick for several games after Kendrick sustained a strained left hamstring in the seventh inning of Sunday's 10-5 victory at Seattle. Kendrick is batting .500 (18-for-36) and has six hits in his last eight at-bats. Izturis got the start at 2B. ... The Rangers called up RHP Wes Littleton from Triple-A Oklahoma and optioned right-hander Scott Feldman to Double-A Frisco. Littleton came on in relief in the fifth, allowing one hit in 2 1/3 shutout innings. ... The Angels had CF Torii Hunter back in the lineup after Hunter missed Sunday's game against Seattle with a sore left big toe. ... Angels RHP John Lackey's rehab from a strained right triceps continues with a bullpen session scheduled on Wednesday in Anaheim. Lackey threw 47 pitches in a session on Sunday. ... Milton Bradley has hit safely in nine straight games for Texas.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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