The left fielder hit his first major-league home run in the top
of the ninth inning to give the Rangers a 2-1 victory over the Los
Angeles Angels on Sunday in front of 27,166 at Angel Stadium.
"I think it was something on his mind," Texas interim manager Tin
Bogar said. "He talked about getting his first RBI and his first
The Rangers earned their eighth victory in nine games, while the
Angels lost their third in their past four games.
Rua's home run, his only hit, relieved the frustration of his
previous three at-bats.
"I didn't really take any good swings the whole game," Rua said.
"They pounded me inside pretty much the whole game."
The 24-year-old Rua, promoted from Triple-A Round Rock on Aug. 29,
saw a 1-2 sinker from closer Huston Street tailing toward him. Rua
propelled that pitch into the left-field stands above both teams'
"He went with three sliders in a row, so in the back of my mind, I
thought maybe they would try to pound me in again," Rua said. "I was
just trying to be short and quick to the inside pitch if I got it."
Afterward in the Rangers' locker room, Rua had yet to realize the
significance of hitting a home run against one of baseball's premier
"I hadn't really thought about it," Rua said. "I'm still trying to
process it a little bit, right now. But it definitely felt good. It
came at the right time."
Street (1-2) pitched only one-third of an inning. The right-hander
allowed three hits and an intentional walk and finished with one
Right-hander Shawn Tolleson (3-1) earned the win after pitching
two-thirds of an inning of relief. Right-hander Neftali Feliz struck
out the side in the bottom of the ninth for his 11th save.
Texas took a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth after loading the
bases against right-handed reliever Fernando Salas. Center fielder
Leonys Martin and first baseman Adam Rosales lined singles, then
second baseman Rougned Odor sacrificed them into scoring position
before third baseman Adrian Beltre received an intentional walk.
Catcher Tomas Telis drove Martin home with a two-out single off the
chest of Angels shortstop Erick Aybar. But with the bases still
loaded, Rua lined out.
The Angels followed suit in the bottom of the inning, scoring one
run but leaving the bases loaded against right-hander Nick Tepesch.
Catcher Chris Iannetta hit a lead-off single, moved to second base
on right fielder Kole Calhoun's groundout and tied the score on
designated hitter Albert Pujols' single. Center fielder Mike Trout
received an intentional walk before Pujols' hit, as Aybar did one
out after Pujols to load the bases for third baseman David Freese.
But Freese lined out to end the rally.
Tepesch conceded one run, two walks (both intentional) and just four
hits in seven innings, while striking out three and hitting one
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"He gave us everything he could," Bogar said. "He used his fastball
very aggressively in the strike zone, then he got to play his
off-speed stuff off of it. I thought he did a great job."
Los Angeles right-hander Cory Rasmus, making his fifth successive
start in place of injured right-hander Garrett Richards, faced one
batter over the minimum in his first four innings. But the Rangers
had a chance to take the lead in the top of the fifth.
Right fielder Jake Smolinski began the inning with a double off the
right-field wall. Telis followed with a walk that forced Rasmus from
the game. Right-hander Michael Morin replaced Rasmus and induced Rua
to pop out before striking out designated hitter J.P. Arencibia and
making shortstop Luis Sandinas ground out.
Rasmus, who began the season as a reliever, threw a career-high 59
pitches in his longest outing of the season. In four-plus innings,
Rasmus allowed two hits and one walk while striking out three.
"It seems like with every start, he gets a little better, a little
stronger," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He threw a lot of
strikes. His ability to change speeds put us in a position we wanted
to be in. He's doing a terrific job."
But Scioscia does not plan to extend Rasmus beyond a 50-pitch limit
if the right-hander starts in the playoffs.
"Right now, I don't think we're going to risk setting him back,"
Scioscia said. "I don't think he needs to get past 50. If we had
gotten him stretched out in spring training, we'd have a fighting
chance to get him where he would have length. If he's getting us
into the fourth inning, I think that's about all you can really hope
NOTES: Rangers rookies have driven in 147 runs this season. No other
team's rookies have as many RBIs. ... Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre, who
had three doubles Saturday night, now ranks 40th all-time in the
category. Beltre has 527 doubles and needs one to tie Hall of Famers
Cap Anson and Frank Robinson. ... Los Angeles CF Mike Trout received
the team's award as its most valuable player before Saturday night's
game. Trout won the honor for the third consecutive year. ... Angels
RHP Garrett Richards also received the Nick Adenhart Award as the
club's pitcher of the year before Saturday night's game. Adenhart
was killed in a traffic accident in April 2009 after pitching
against the Oakland Athletics in just his fourth major-league
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