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Rangers continue to pull away from Angels

Aug 18, 2011 - 5:39 AM Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Ian Kinsler blooped the tie-breaking two-run single in the eighth inning, boosting the Rangers to a 4-3 win over the Angels and widening their lead over Los Angeles to seven games in the AL West.

Mitch Moreland added a solo homer and Michael Young went 3-for-5 in Texas' sixth straight triumph. The Rangers, winners in nine of their last 10, are on the verge of their first-ever four-game sweep in Anaheim.

Koji Uehara surrendered a home run to Howie Kendrick with two outs in the eighth, but Neftali Feliz escaped a jam in the ninth to record his 24th save.

C.J. Wilson (12-5) struck out six batters over seven innings, while Angels starter Ervin Santana (9-9) gave up 10 hits over 7 2/3 frames and lost for the first time in 10 starts.

Santana, who had won five straight starts and was 6-0 over his previous nine, walked Nelson Cruz to start the eighth. Former Angel Mike Napoli doubled to left-center and Moreland was intentionally walked.

Santana nearly got out of trouble as he struck out Yorvit Torrealba and Endy Chavez. That set the stage for Kinsler, who reached out to hit a 2-2 pitch to left field, giving the Rangers a 4-2 lead.

"He's a fastball hitter and I threw him a slider," Santana said. "It was a great pitch. He gets a broken-bat hit. There's nothing I could do about it."

It was Kinsler's first two RBI of this series.

"I was battling against him all night," Kinsler said. "That was our chance. I tried to find a hole and I got it. Anything you do to help the team win in that situation, you're going to get emotional."

Mark Trumbo singled to start the bottom of the ninth and advanced to third thanks to a pair of groundouts. Erick Aybar then flied out to right field, sealing the Angels' fifth straight defeat.

Peter Bourjos scored on a Kendrick groundout in the opening inning, and after Torii Hunter reached safely on an error from Elvis Andrus, Trumbo cracked an RBI double high off the wall in right. Umpires used replay to determine the ball hit off the scoreboard instead of going over the wall. Hunter barely beat the relay throw of Kinsler, using his left hand to touch the back of the plate before Torrealba could apply the tag.

The Angels used spectacular defense to keep Texas off the scoreboard in the second. Napoli was on his way home after Trumbo fielded a roller from Torrealba. The first baseman fired a strike to the plate to keep it a 2-0 game.

Texas left runners at the corners in the third, but scored in consecutive innings - on a Hamilton RBI single in the fifth and Moreland's 14th homer of the year in the sixth.

Game Notes

Hunter, who singled in the sixth, has a 15-game hitting streak...Santana has 1,003 career strikeouts...The Halos had won each of their last five home series vs. Texas going back to September 2009...Texas is 20 games over .500 (72-52) for just the fourth season in team history (1977, 1996 and 1999). They had gone 0-7 in last seven chances to reach 20 games above .500, all since the start of 2009...Jerome Williams pitched in the top of the ninth for the Angels, his first major league appearance since 2007 with Washington.