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Post-Game Report: Angels vs. Rangers (7/7/08)


It was a night for offense in Texas, and the Angels held the upper-hand in the slugfest as they beat the Texas Rangers 9-6. The Angels scored 8 runs in the first two innings, but the Rangers came back with one in the 3rd inning and five in the 6th inning before Angels’ relief pitchers shut down the potent Texas offense.

Angels’ offense and defense bailed out starting pitcher Ervin Santana, who gained his 10th win of the season despite giving up 6 runs and 10 hits over 7 innings of work. Torii Hunter blasted 2 home runs, including one that went an estimated 442 feet into the upper deck and Francisco Rodriguez set a new MLB record for saves before the All-Star break with 35.

Casey Kotchman saved the game for the Angels with his glove twice, including a catch to end the game. With runners of 2nd and 3rd and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, David Murphey hit a line shot down the right field line that Kotchman snagged just before it went out of reach to preserve the save for closer Frankie Rodriguez.

Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia was ejected from the game in the 5th inning by home plate umpire Andy Fletcher. Scioscia came out and argued with Fletcher when second baseman Howie Kendrick was hit in the forearm by a pitch and not awarded first base. Kendrick later grounded out in the at-bat.

Top 3 Angels Performers:

1) Torii Hunter went 3-5 with 2 home runs and 3 RBIs for the Angels. Hunter’s first homer went an estimated 442 feet into the upper deck in left field. Hunter became just the third visiting player to hit a home run into the upper deck at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

2) Vlad Guerrero went 3-4 with one homer and 2 RBIs, and also lifted his batting average to .289 on the year. Guerrero hit his team-leading 15th homer of the year in the second inning, and is on pace for yet another 30 home run season.

3) Jeff Mathis went 2-3 with a home run, a walk and 2 RBIs in the first game since Mike Napoli went on the Dl for the Halos. Mathis also collided with Rangers’ catcher Max Ramirez on a close play at the plate (He was called out on the play, but what a hit!).

Honorable mention goes to closer Francisco Rodriguez, who recorded his record-setting 35th save before the All-Star Break.

Jeff Weaver of the Game: Tonight’s Jeff Weaver goes to Angels’ left-fielder Gary Matthews Jr. DH Garret Anderson. On a night where offense was fairly easy to come by, Anderson went 0-4 with a strikeout and left two Angel runners on base. Anderson’s batting average for the season now stands at .266.

Play of the Game: The play of the game tonight was Torii Hunter’s monster home run deep to left field. As previously mentioned, Hunter became only the third visiting player every to hit a ball into the upper deck at Rangers Field.

Honorable mention to Casey Kotchman’s two run-saving defensive gems.

What to look for next game: Pending the birth of his first child, Joe Saunders may or may not be going for his league-leading 13th win of the season tomorrow against the Rangers. The Angels will look to continue this recent offensive outburst, during which they’ve scored 29 runs in their last 4 games. The Angels will also look to improve upon their MLB-best road record, which stands at an impressive 28-15.

(Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports)