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Angels top Rangers, capture first place in AL West
Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Kole Calhoun drove in two runs and Matt Shoemaker tossed 5 2/3 strong innings as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim held on to beat the Texas Rangers, 5-4, on Saturday.
The Angels, who passed the Oakland Athletics by percentage points for first place in the American League West, now have at least a share of the division lead for the first time since Opening Day of 2013.
"The standings are really irrelevant right now," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "We've got a long way to go."
Shoemaker (11-4) allowed only two runs on four hits, while striking out six as the Angels won their fourth straight game. Los Angeles has won five of its last six overall on the heels of a four-game skid.
Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick each hit solo home runs for the Angels and Chris Iannetta drove in the other run with a double.
Shin-Soo Choo had a solo shot of his own and Alex Rios smacked a two-run single for Texas, which has lost four in a row.
Colby Lewis (8-10) was rocked for five runs on 10 hits, but also struck out 10 in Texas' ninth straight loss to the Angels.
"I think early, I left a couple balls in the middle," said Lewis. "Other than that, I felt like I had really, really good stuff tonight."
Pujols' solo shot in the first gave the Angels a 1-0 lead early.
Kendrick added another run with his homer to start the second. Erick Aybar followed with a single and Iannetta sent him home with a two-out double to center.
The Angels stretched the lead to five with two runs in the fourth. After back- to-back singles by Kendrick and Aybar to start the inning, David Freese was hit by a pitch. Two batters later, Calhoun plated Kendrick and Aybar with a liner to right.
Texas countered with two runs in the fourth. Choo hit a leadoff homer before Shoemaker retired the next two batters. Adrian Beltre followed with a walk and Leonys Martin singled before J.P. Arencibia hit a grounder to left that scored Beltre.
Rios pulled the Rangers within a run in the seventh. Robinson Chirinos doubled and Choo was hit by a pitch. Elvis Andrus loaded the bases with a single and Rios sent a pair home with a line drive to center field to cut the lead to 5-4.
Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth inning for his ninth save with the Angels and 33rd of the season.
The Rangers have matched their longest losing streak ever to the Angels. They lost nine in a row from October, 1985 to September, 1986 ... The Angels finished 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position, while the Rangers were 3- for-7 ... Los Angeles leads the season series 10-2 ... Calhoun has six multi- hit efforts in his last seven games ... Texas has dropped seven of its last nine games.
08/17 02:03:50 ET