ARLINGTON, Texas -- The middle of the Los Angeles Angels' batting order handled the Rangers' pitchers and the Texas heat.
On a 96-degree day, Los Angeles' 2-3-4 hitters -- Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton -- combined to go 7 for 13 with six runs batted in and two scored in the Angels' 10-7 win over Texas on Sunday.Los Angeles took a five-game winning streak into the All-Star break. Texas (38-57) dropped its eighth straight and has the worst record in the majors."When those three guys in the middle are doing what they can do, you're going to be able to put some games away," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It has to be more than them, and I think it is."Every Angels starter had at least one of the team's 15 hits."That's a very relentless ballclub over there," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Every time you make a mistake, they make you pay. Each inning we scored, except for one, they came back and answered."We've got to stop that stuff."Trout, who will start in the All-Star game in the AL outfield, had two doubles and three RBIs. He sent three runs home by blooping a two-out double in the second inning, and broke a 4-all tie with a double in the fourth. Trout walked and scored in the sixth.Pujols was 3 for 5, including a double and an RBI.Hamilton finished 2 for 4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored."We feed off each other," Hamilton said. "If one guy doesn't get the thing done, the next guy picks him up."Trout's second-inning double followed a line out by Kole Calhoun. Pujols' run-scoring double in the eighth, that put Los Angeles ahead 9-7, followed a leadoff walk to Chris Iannetta and two outs.The Angels, a major league-best 26-9 since June 6, swept a four-game series against Texas for the first time.Winning pitcher Tyler Skaggs (5-5) left after giving up two singles to start the sixth. Both runners scored, leaving him with six earned runs allowed in five innings."The outing wasn't what I wanted," he said. "I threw some bad pitches 0 and 2, especially the one to (Alex) Rios."The Angels had a 4-1 lead in the third inning before Rios lined a two-run double on a hanging curveball. He then scored to tie it as Adrian Beltre grounded out.The game was halted briefly while medical personnel worked on a photographer who was treated for dehydration near the Angels dugout."You're playing in an oven," Skaggs said. "I was trying to hydrate as much as possible. It was almost unbearable."Joe Smith pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 15th save in 19 opportunities. He set an Angels record with his 10th consecutive appearance of at least an inning without allowing a hit. He is 1-0 with eight saves in July.Scioscia wouldn't commit to Smith being Los Angeles' closer."I still believe it's important for us to deepen the pool of guys to hold leads for us," he said.Scott Baker (0-3) lost in his fourth start for Texas.Rios drove in three runs for the Rangers.
Trout's RBIs increased his season total to 73, making him one of five players in Angels history with 20-plus home runs and 70-plus RBIs before the All-Star break. ... When Skaggs trapped Elvis Andrus off first base in the first inning, it was the AL-high ninth caught stealing for Andrus. ... All four Angels who reached base leading off an inning scored. Three had been walked. ... Ryan Feierabend, who entered the game in the seventh, allowed the Rangers to tie a season record as the 30th pitcher to appear in a game. He is one of 50 players overall for Texas this year.
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ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 13: Adrian Beltre #29 congratulates Dan Robertson #19 of the Texas Rangers for scoring on a...