Rangers top Angels to force AL wild-card tiebreaker
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers ran their winning streak to seven games and extended their season for at least one more day with a 6-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Sunday.
Geovany Soto and Craig Gentry both drove in two runs in the win as the Rangers tied Tampa Bay for the final AL wild-card spot to force a one-game tiebreaker Monday in Arlington.
"You can't say enough. Just the fight, the character of this team," Gentry said. "From being about as low as we could possibly be and almost everybody probably counting us out, and to come home and play the way we have."
Neal Cotts (8-3) picked up the win after recording the final out of the sixth in relief of Texas ace Yu Darvish, who struck out eight while giving up two runs on four hits and two walks over 5 2/3 frames.
If the Rangers (91-71) top Tampa Bay on Monday, they will head to Cleveland to face the Indians in Wednesday's AL Wild Card Game. The Rays held off Toronto earlier Sunday.
Mike Trout stroked a solo homer in the first for the Angels (78-84), who wrapped up a disappointing season with four straight losses.
"I'm disappointed, but there's nothing to be ashamed about the way we went after them," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Those guys brought their game up a notch, and we're going home."
Jason Vargas (9-8) gave up four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings to absorb the loss.
Trout's two-out blast to center staked LA to a 1-0 lead in the first, but Darvish retired 13 of the next 14 Angels to keep the margin at 1-0.
The Rangers finally provided their starter with some support in the fifth, as A.J. Pierzynski stroked a leadoff double and Soto walked before both runners advanced a base on Vargas' errant pickoff attempt.
After Mitch Moreland struck out, Gentry smacked a single to center to plate both runners for a 2-1 edge.
Josh Hamilton's run-scoring single in the sixth pulled the Angels even, but Adrian Beltre and Pierzynski ripped back-to-back two-out singles in the home half before Soto clubbed a double to center to score Beltre for a 3-2 lead.
Ian Kinsler extended Texas' lead with an RBI single in the seventh before Beltre led off the eighth with his 30th homer of the season and Soto followed two batters later with a blast to left to make it 6-2.
Joe Nathan spun a 1-2-3 ninth to close out the victory.
The Rangers have won eight in a row at home against the Angels and won the season series 15-4 ... Texas finished 3-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base ... Beltre recorded his third straight 30-homer season ... Trout finished the season with 27 homers and 97 RBI.
09/29 21:20:10 ET