Hunter leads Angels over Texas in doubleheader opener
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Torii Hunter's two-run double in the ninth inning lifted the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over the Texas Rangers, 5-4, in the first game of a doubleheader.
Mike Trout hit a solo homer for the Angels, who sit three games behind Oakland for the second wild card spot in the AL. Albert Pujols and Kendrys Morales added an RBI apiece.
Trout, who tied a rookie franchise record with his 48th steal, became the first major league rookie with 30 homers and 40 stolen bases in the same season.
Zack Greinke got the start for Los Angeles and allowed four runs on six hits over 7 1/3 innings. Garrett Richards (4-3) recorded the final out in the eighth to pick up the win.
Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer for the Rangers, who came into Sunday's action with a 2 1/2-game lead over the Athletics for first place in the AL West. Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre each had an RBI.
Texas starter Yu Darvish allowed three runs on nine hits while striking out seven over 6 2/3 innings. Joe Nathan gave up two runs on two hits in the ninth to take the loss.
The Rangers can secure a playoff spot with a win in the second game of the doubleheader.
Holding a 4-3 lead, Texas sent Nathan to the mound in the top of the ninth. With one out, Maicer Izturis singled to left and Chris Iannetta walked. Two batters later, Hunter cleared the bases with a double to left-center field.
Ernesto Frieri was perfect on the hill for the Angels in the bottom half. He picked up his 23rd save of the season.
Texas jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Beltre led off with a single and scored on Cruz's homer to left.
The Angels got one run back in the third after Trout hit a two-out single, moved to third on Hunter's base hit and raced home on Pujols' single to right.
But Texas tacked on two more runs in the bottom half to increase its margin. With two outs, Elvis Andrus walked and scored on Hamilton's single to center. Beltre followed with an RBI bloop double to right that Hunter never saw.
Los Angeles scored one run in the sixth and seventh to begin the comeback. Hunter and Pujols started the sixth with consecutive singles. Morales followed with a sacrifice fly.
Trout's homer to center during the Angels' next at-bat cut the gap to 4-3.
The Angels had 11 hits ... Hunter went 4-for-5 ... Nathan suffered his third blown save of the season ... Darvish was scratched from his previous start with a stiff neck ... The Rangers are trying to win their third straight division title.
09/30 22:58:49 ET