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Blalock slams Angels in return to Texas lineup

Sep 3, 2007 - 4:16 AM ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Hank Blalock returned to the Texas Rangers lineup with a bang.

Blalock hit a grand slam in the eighth inning and C.J. Wilson survived the ninth as the Rangers held on for an 8-7 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Sunday night.

Ian Kinsler continued his tear with a two-run homer in the third for Texas, which has won seven of eight.

Garret Anderson drove in a pair of runs for Anaheim (80-56), which has lost two straight but still leads the Seattle Mariners (73-62) by 6 1/2 games in the American League West.

"I'm not worried about how many games we are up," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We just worry about winning one game at a time."

Blalock, who missed three months because of shoulder surgery, blasted a 2-2 fastball from Scot Shields (3-5) into the right field seats for his fifth career grand slam and an 8-5 lead.

"It's great to be back, and to be able to help the team win late in the game is very exciting for me," Blalock said.

"I haven't been pitching like how I know how to pitch lately, and I need to turn it around in a hurry," Shields said. "It's just not acceptable."

Shields had relieved Justin Speier, and the righthander allowed a leadoff single to Michael Young and a one-out walk to Brad Wilkerson. The righthander then hit Frank Catalanotto, setting the stage for Blalock's heroics.

His blast made a winner out of Wes Littleton (3-1), who threw two scoreless innings in relief of starter Kason Gabbard.

"I'm so happy for these guys tonight to pull out this win," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We got down by three runs but we battled back." Wilson struggled in the ninth, allowing a leadoff double to Howie Kendrick, who reached third on an error by the left fielder Catalanotto.

Robb Quinlan cut the lead to 8-6 with an RBI single and after hitting Orlando Cabrera to load the bases, Wilson walked Vladimir Guerrero to plate a run.

"Nothing is easy against them," Wilson said. "It was extreme, it was almost like your car is spinning out and just trying to find traction."

The Angels, who lead the majors with 15 wins when trailing after six innings, could not rally this time as Wilson struck out Anderson on a check swing to end the game.

"We had our chance in the ninth to come back and pull out a win but you have to give credit to there bullpen," Angels outfielder Reggie Willits said.

Texas jumped out to an early lead as Kinsler continued his torrid series by blasting a two-run homer to right field off John Lackey in the third.

Kinsler finished the series 7-for-12 with six RBI, and he has been on a tear hitting .484 (16-for-33) with two homers and eight RBI in his last eight games.

"It was a good series for us to take two of three from the Angels is an accomplishment even though we aren't going anywhere," Kinsler said. The Angels got even as Jeff Mathis tied the game at 2-2 with two-run shot in the third. The Angels took a 5-2 lead with three runs in the fifth, thanks to two-run double by Cabrera and a run-scoring single by Anderson.

However, Lackey allowed a two-run homer to Wilkerson in the sixth that cut the lead to 5-4.

Lackey, who was trying to become the majors' first 17-game winner, allowed four runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts and two walks.

"I felt strong all game, but I made some mistakes with my location up in the zone and they took advantage," Lackey said.

Gabbard, who is unbeaten in his last six starts, allowed five runs and five hits in six innings with five walks and three strikeouts.








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

    BATTERIES: TEX - KASON GABBARD, WES LITTLETON (7TH), C.J. WILSON (9TH) AND
    GERALD LAIRD
    LAA - JOHN LACKEY, JUSTIN SPEIER (7TH), SCOT SHIELDS
    (8TH), CHRIS BOOTCHECK (8TH), DAR

    Sep 2 11:15 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO VLADIMIR GUERRERO SCORED ROBB QUINLAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, V GUERRERO ON FIRST, O CABRERA ON SECOND, N
    HAYNES ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 8
    LA ANGELS 7 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G ANDERSON (.287, 1-FOR-4, 2 RBI)

    Rangers vs. AngelsSep 2 11:12 PM
  • 40
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Rangers vs. AngelsSep 2 11:12 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ROBB QUINLAN SCORED HOWIE KENDRICK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R QUINLAN ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 8
    LA ANGELS 6 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: J MATHIS (.220, 1-FOR-2, BB, HR, 2 RBI)

    Rangers vs. AngelsSep 2 10:57 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY HANK BLALOCK (6) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF SCOT SHIELDS SCORED MICHAEL YOUNG, BRAD WILKERSON AND FRANK
    CATALANOTTO.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 8, LA ANGELS 5
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G LAIRD (.223, 0-FOR-3)

    Rangers vs. AngelsSep 2 10:29 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY BRAD WILKERSON (19) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF JOHN LACKEY SCORED MICHAEL YOUNG.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 4, LA ANGELS 5
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: N CRUZ (.213, 0-FOR-2)

    Rangers vs. AngelsSep 2 9:46 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GARRET ANDERSON SCORED REGGIE WILLITS AND ORLANDO
    CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, G ANDERSON ON FIRST, V GUERRERO ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    LA ANGELS 5 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: M IZTURIS (.278, 0-FOR-0, 2 BB)

    Rangers vs. AngelsSep 2 9:34 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ORLANDO CABRERA SCORED JEFF MATHIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, O CABRERA ON SECOND, R WILLITS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    LA ANGELS 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: V GUERRERO (.327, 0-FOR-2)

    Rangers vs. AngelsSep 2 9:31 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JEFF MATHIS (3) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF KASON GABBARD SCORED ROBB QUINLAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2, LA ANGELS 2
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: R WILLITS (.295, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. AngelsSep 2 8:57 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY IAN KINSLER (18) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF JOHN LACKEY SCORED DAVID MURPHY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2, LA ANGELS 0
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: R VAZQUEZ (.238, 0-FOR-0, SAC)

    Rangers vs. AngelsSep 2 8:43 PM
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    CubsnCards Added 5 roots

    Rangers vs. AngelsSep 2 2:03 PM