Saturday, September 20, 2014
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Rangers rout Angels for seventh straight win

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[September 20, 2014]  ANAHEIM, Calif. -- In his second major league start, Lisalverto Bonilla stifled the most productive offense in the major leagues.

The right-hander pitched five innings of two-hit ball to lead the Texas Rangers to a 12-3 rout of the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night in front of 38,467 at Angel Stadium.

The victory extends the Rangers' season-best winning streak to seven games, the longest active streak in the major leagues.

"We're being aggressive," Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "Every time we do that, especially the last couple of weeks, it turns into wins."

Bonilla (2-0) held the Angels without a hit in the first four innings before permitting two hits and two runs in the fifth, his final inning. The 24-year-old Dominican retired eight successive batters between the first and fourth innings, induced seven groundouts and finished with four walks and four strikeouts in five innings.

"I thought his fastball had more life than it looked like on video," said Angels designated hitter Brennan Boesch, who hit a two-run homer off Bonilla.

Bonilla faced a lineup featuring center fielder Mike Trout and first baseman Albert Pujols, both of whom joined their fellow starters in resting Thursday night. Los Angeles, which secured the American League West on Wednesday night, entered the game leading the major leagues with 745 runs scored.

In his first start on Sept. 13, Bonilla limited the Atlanta Braves to two runs and four hits in six innings while walking four and striking out three.

"Tonight, he was a little more erratic," Rangers interim manager Tim Bogar said. "He was effectively wild, but you can be that way if you're not giving up base hits.

"He pitched inside really well. He changed speeds real well. He does things to get himself out of trouble very well."

Left fielder Ryan Rua led the Rangers' 15-hit attack. He went 4-for-5, scored two runs and drove in a third. Third baseman Adrian Beltre, right fielder Daniel Robertson and designated hitter Jake Smolinski added two RBIs apiece.

The Rangers took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning against left-hander Hector Santiago. Center fielder Leonys Martin began the game with a single, then stole second base before coming home on first baseman Adam Rosales' line-drive single.

Smolinski then propelled Santiago's 92 mph fastball just over the left-field fence for his second home run of the year, a two-run drive.

Texas extended its advantage to 7-0 in the second by turning four hits, an error, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly into four runs. After Robertson's bloop single drove Rua home, Martin forced the Angels to make a pivotal mistake.

Martin bunted down the third-base line. Los Angeles catcher Hank Conger retrieved the ball but threw wildly to first base, allowing second baseman Rougned Odor to score, Robertson to take third base and Martin to reach second. Martin received credit for a single and Conger was charged with an error.

Right-hander Vinnie Pestano replaced Santiago and unleashed a wild pitch that enabled Robertson to score and Martin to move to third base. Andrus then hit a sacrifice fly to bring Martin home.

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Santiago (5-9) struggled badly for the second consecutive outing. The left-hander allowed seven runs (six earned) and seven hits in one-plus inning.

"I was a little surprised," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He had good stuff tonight. Warming up, Hector looked good. When he got out there, he had good velocity. He just missed spots and hit bats.

"I think seven of the first 10 hitters he faced got hits. That pretty much was the game."

Despite Santiago's last two performances, Scioscia remains confident in the left-hander's ability to perform once the American League playoffs begin.

"He definitely has shown what he can do when he's on," Scioscia said. "His arm is good. His stuff is good. He competes well. I just think he has to take a step back and exhale."

Beltre added a two-run single in the fourth inning. Robertson hit another sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth, catcher Robinson Chirinos provided a run-scoring double in the ninth and Rua contributed an RBI single in the ninth.

The Angels broke the shutout in the bottom of the fifth inning when Boesch pounded an 85 mph pitch from Bonilla halfway up the right-field stands for a two-run homer. First baseman C.J. Cron, who relieved Pujols in the seventh, added a run-scoring double in that inning.

NOTES: The Rangers' six-game winning streak is the longest active streak of its kind in the major leagues. ... Rangers CF Leonys Martin owned the second-highest batting average in the majors since Aug. 12 at .374 (46-for-123) going into the game. Only San Francisco C Buster Posey at .394 (50-for-127) had a better average. Martin went 2-for-5 on Friday night. ... Texas has not had a player, coach or manager ejected since June 22, when former manager Ron Washington was thrown out for arguing an overturned video replay. Between April 13 and June 22, Rangers personnel had been ejected seven times. ... The Angels are the first American League team to hold first place by eight games or more after trailing by at least six after 70 games, according to STATS LLC. ... Los Angeles CF Mike Trout is on pace to become the first player in major league history to lead either league in runs scored in his first three full seasons. ... The Angels recalled RHP Drew Rucinski from Double-A Arkansas before the game. ... The Angels' starting pitchers had held opponents to no more than three earned runs in 34 of the past 38 games.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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