[May 05, 2014]ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Scoring 14 on a
Sunday afternoon isn't all that unusual, except when you're playing
baseball, not football.
The Texas Rangers scored nine runs in the first four innings and
cruised to a 14-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium.
The 14 runs were a season-high and the Rangers left town winning two
of the three games in the series.
Catcher J.P. Arencibia and center fielder Michael Choice each
homered for the Rangers, Choice's three-run blast in the fourth
inning giving Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish more than enough
cushion to work with.
Darvish gave up solo home runs to shortstop Erick Aybar and
designated hitter Albert Pujols in the first inning, then settled in
and stifled the Angels' bats after that.
Darvish (2-1) gave up three runs on seven hits and one walk while
striking out nine in 6 1/3 innings. He also hit a batter, plunking
Pujols with a 91 mph fastball that glanced off the slugger's helmet
in the fifth inning. Pujols lay still for a few moments before
getting up and taking first base. He remained in the game and lined
out to shortstop in his next at-bat.
"Yu was impressive," Arencibia said. "Through two innings he had
already thrown 51 pitches. He made some adjustments and got into the
seventh inning. It was a good team win, top to bottom."
Beating the Angels is nothing new for Darvish, who improved to 7-1
against them, including a 5-1 mark in Anaheim. Darvish has more wins
against the Angels than any other opponent.
"We still had opportunities but he started to get pitches into the
zone more and used his breaking ball," Angels manager Mike Scioscia
said. "And he got out of some trouble."
There was potential trouble for Darvish and the Rangers in the
second inning. The Angels had runners on first and second with one
out when Aybar hit a dribbler to the left of the mound. Darvish
threw to third, but third base ump Lance Barrett ruled that Angels
first baseman C.J. Cron beat the play.
Rangers manager Ron Washington asked for a replay challenge and the
play was overturned. Instead of having the bases loaded with one out
and center fielder Mike Trout at the plate, the Angels had runners
on first and second and two outs. Darvish struck out Trout to end
the threat, and the Angels never really threatened again.
The Rangers had 14 hits in all, including three each from first
baseman Prince Fielder and third baseman Adrian Beltre, and two each
from designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo, Arencibia and Choice.
Eight of Texas' hits came off Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs, who
had his worst start of the season. Skaggs (2-1) gave up six runs on
eight hits and three walks (one intentional) in 2 2/3 innings.
"I don't think anything went wrong, they just hit the pitches I was
throwing," Skaggs said. "They made an adjustment, they had a good
game plan. I started off the game good but started falling behind
late in counts. It's easy to hit when it's 2-0, 2-1, so it's kind of
Aybar had three hits to lead the Angels offense.
The Rangers scored early and often against Skaggs, starting with
three runs in the first inning. Fielder drove in the first run of
the game with a double. Choice added an RBI single, and Arencibia
hit a sacrifice fly.
The Angels responded with the solo shots from Aybar (No. 2) and
Pujols (No. 10), cutting their deficit to 3-2.
The Rangers pushed across two more run in the second inning before
knocking Skaggs out of the game in the third inning following a solo
homer by Arencibia that made it 6-2.
"It kind of is what it is, you know," Skaggs said. "You erase it and
put it behind you."
Choice's three-run homer off right-hander Kevin Jepsen in the fourth
inning opened up 9-2 lead for Texas.
NOTES: Rangers SS Elvis Andrus was dropped from No. 2 in the batting
order to No. 9, and he went 1-for-3 with a walk and a sacrifice fly.
He entered the game with four hits in his previous 46 at-bats and
was batting .217 overall. ... Rangers LF Shin-Soo Choo leads the
American League with a .482 on-base percentage. He reached base in
five plate appearances Sunday. Choo reached base at least four times
in a game six times this season, also a league high. ... Angels 1B
C.J. Cron became the fourth player in Angels history to get three
hits in his major league debut with the club, joining Kendrys
Morales (2006), Lee Stevens (1990) and Gil Flores (1977).