ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Kendry Morales made his major league debut, and the Los Angeles Angels ended their six-game losing streak on the same night.
The Angels say it was no coincidence.Morales and Vladimir Guerrero homered, and Tommy Murphy robbed Mark Teixeira of a potential tying homer in the ninth inning, helping the Angels edge the Texas Rangers 7-6 Tuesday night.Morales had three hits, giving his new teammates a look at the talent the Angels hope can help pull them out of a 5-15 tailspin prior to Tuesday."He was pretty impressive," said Adam Kennedy, who went 4-for-4 for the Angels. "It was a big lift by him considering we've been scuffling on the offensive side. We've got a pretty good player there."Morales, called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday night, singled in his first at-bat, then hit a two-run homer in the third just over the yellow line in right field to give the Angels a 4-1 advantage.The 22-year-old switch-hitter, who defected from Cuba in 2004, added a single in the fifth."Nowhere did it go through my mind that I would have three hits tonight," Morales said through an interpreter. "The home run, I've got no words to describe it."Morales said he had no jitters because he's experienced so many tight situations in Cuba."I've been trained back home to control myself in these situations," Morales said. "I've played a lot of big games with pressure so I didn't feel nervous."Michael Young's two-run shot in the seventh gave the Rangers a 6-5 lead, but the Angels rallied in the eighth against Francisco Cordero (3-3).Cordero walked Mike Napoli leading off the inning and Murphy, who entered as a pinch runner, went to third on Kennedy's single.Chone Figgins walked to load the bases, and Murphy scored on Orlando Cabrera's sacrifice fly with Kennedy moving to third. Cabrera finished with three RBI.Guerrero, who went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs, hit a grounder to third baseman Hank Blalock, who threw to second for an attempted forceout. But second base umpire Tim Tschida ruled that Rangers second baseman Mark DeRosa's foot was off the base. DeRosa's throw to first beat Guerrero as Kennedy crossed the plate with the go-ahead run.DeRosa felt he had his foot on the bag for the double play."I thought I made the play the way we work on it in spring training and before games," DeRosa said. "[Tschida] said I was off it. If I was, it was unbelievably close."Teixeira made a bid for a tying home run leading off the ninth, but Murphy made a leaping catch at the center-field wall."I've had too many of those this year, so I wasn't holding my breath," Teixeira said. "Last year the baseball gods were smiling on me and they were going out, but that's not the case this year."Angels manager Mike Scioscia thought that Teixeira's drive would have been a homer if Murphy had not made the play."If nobody would have been there, it would have been out of the park," Scioscia said.For the Rangers, the leadoff walk to Napoli got the inning off to a bad start."When you walk the leadoff hitter, the tendency is something bad is going to happen," Rangers catcher Rod Barajas said.Hector Carrasco (1-2) got one out for the win and Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.Guerrero has hit safely in all 41 career games against the Rangers, the longest streak against one team since divisional play began in 1969. Ken Griffey Jr., then playing for the Seattle Mariners, had at least one hit in 35 consecutive games against Cleveland from 1992-96.With the game tied at 4, Los Angeles went ahead in the sixth against reliever Joaquin Benoit when Napoli walked, went to third on Kennedy's single and scored on Cabrera's groundout.Angels starter John Lackey allowed four runs -- one earned -- and five hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked three.Los Angeles took a 2-0 lead in the first on Cabrera's RBI double and Guerrero's 12th homer.The Rangers tied it at 4 in the third when DeRosa drove in three runs on a bases-loaded double.Rangers starter Vicente Padilla left a 4-4 game after throwing 92 pitches in five innings. He allowed four runs and 11 hits, struck out four and didn't issue a walk.
The Angels have outscored the Rangers in the first inning of their last 18 games 32-7. ... Los Angeles has won nine of its last 11 meetings with Texas.