for this game

Resurgent Rangers squeeze past Angels

Jul 5, 2007 - 4:46 AM ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) -- Marlon Byrd and the resurgent Texas Rangers continued to roll Wednesday night, defeating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 4-2.

Texas has lost only one of its last eight series and guaranteed winning the set against the American League West-leading Angels, who are just 2-6 over their last eight contests.

Byrd snapped a 2-2 tie in the sixth with an RBI single to center. The 29-year-old outfielder is off to a torrid start since being recalled from Class AAA Oklahoma on May 26.

Byrd has spent parts of each of the last six seasons in the major leagues with modest success, but this season has been quite different.

"I really feel like I can swing away with confidence now," Byrd said. "Tonight I thought (Angels starter Jered) Weaver would come in on me but I was able to go with the pitches he threw that were away most of the night."

After tearing up the Pacific Coast League with a .358 average in 44 games, he has picked up right where he left off in the minors, notching 16 multi-hit games - including Wednesday's 3-for-3 performance to push his average to .383 (53-for-136).

The Rangers got a solid performance from starter Jamey Wright (2-2), who lasted six innings, yielding five hits and two runs. It was the longest outing of the season for the journeyman righthander.

"I feel like I'm getting a better sense of what I'm doing out there," Wright said. "I was really trying to pound the strike zone and get quick outs."

Wright ran into his only trouble in the top of the fourth when he was touched for four straight singles. Chone Figgins scored on Vladimir Guerrero's single to left and, with the bases loaded, Orlando Cabrera scored when first baseman Casey Kotchman hit into a double play.

"With the bases loaded and no outs, I was happy to get out of the inning with only two runs," Wright said. "I left a couple of balls over the plate and then just tried to minimize the damage."

Wright's victory continued a run of successful appearances for Texas starters. Over the last 19 games, the starting staff has gone 10-4, giving up four or fewer earned runs 17 times.

"I've said all along that it's a matter of pitching and pitching makes everything better," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "That's the reason we're on the roll we're on ... because of our starting pitching."

Byrd started the scoring for the Rangers in the second inning with a double to left field. Brad Wilkerson followed up his three-homer night on Tuesday by scoring Byrd with a double off the right-center field wall.

Catcher Gerald Laird tied the game for Texas in the bottom of the fourth with a sacrifice fly, scoring Frank Catalanotto, who had singled to start the inning.

"We've been playing good baseball for a couple of weeks now," Laird said. "We know what this team has been capable of and we're starting to live up to that."

Three straight singles in the bottom of the sixth put the Rangers ahead to stay. Sammy Sosa and Catalanotto opened the inning with base hits and Byrd notched his 23rd RBI of the year, scoring Sosa on a line single to center.

Clinging to a 3-2 lead, Texas' bullpen stepped up with three hitless innings. C.J. Wilson and Joaquin Benoit pitched an inning apiece before handing the ball to closer Eric Gagne, who converted his 11th save in as many opportunities.

Weaver (6-5) took the loss for the Angels, giving up three runs on seven hits over five innings.

"Things aren't going as smoothly as they were," Weaver said. "I was just trying to keep us in the game and for the most part I did. A few seeing-eye hits got through to beat us but it's just a matter of time before we get out of this funk."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA ANGELS 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 0
    TEXAS 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 x 4 11 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: LAA - JERED WEAVER, DARREN OLIVER (6TH), CHRIS RESOP (7TH) AND JEFF
    MATHIS, JOSE MOLINA (8TH)
    TEX - JAMEY WRIGHT, C.J. WILSON (7TH), JOAQUIN BENOIT
    (8TH), ERIC GAG

    Jul 4 11:25 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY GERALD LAIRD SCORED FRANK CATALANOTTO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M BYRD ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    TEXAS 4 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: R VAZQUEZ (.241, 0-FOR-3)

    Angels vs. RangersJul 4 11:16 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARLON BYRD SCORED SAMMY SOSA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M BYRD ON FIRST, F CATALANOTTO ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    TEXAS 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: B WILKERSON (.238, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Angels vs. RangersJul 4 10:26 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY GERALD LAIRD SCORED FRANK CATALANOTTO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M BYRD ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    TEXAS 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: R VAZQUEZ (.246, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels vs. RangersJul 4 9:52 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    CASEY KOTCHMAN HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING ORLANDO
    CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, V GUERRERO ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    TEXAS 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G ANDERSON (.263, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels vs. RangersJul 4 9:42 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY VLADIMIR GUERRERO SCORED CHONE FIGGINS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, V GUERRERO ON FIRST, O CABRERA ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 1
    TEXAS 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G MATTHEWS JR (.277, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Angels vs. RangersJul 4 9:37 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRAD WILKERSON SCORED MARLON BYRD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B WILKERSON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 0
    TEXAS 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G LAIRD (.232, 5 HR, 25 RBI)

    Angels vs. RangersJul 4 9:11 PM