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G122: Rangers take series opener against Angels, 8-4

The Rangers go into Anaheim up four games on the Angels. While it’s definitely not a season clincher – it’s just mid August. Still, being up four and going into Anaheim for four games is an important series. While I have to admit to dreaming about sweeping before we played a game at all, I don’t think many Rangers fans expect that. I think you kind of expect a split, and hope for 3-1, and dream for 4-0. We’re playing too good for anything less than 2-2, I think, so at a split we still leave with the same four game lead.
The Rangers have a habit of not doing good against guys making their major league debuts. So the guy the Angels threw out there we had a shot at. Garrett Richards was making his SECOND major league start. Against Alexi Ogando, I figure this was our best shot at a win given the matchups in the series. However, we didn’t get a chance to test that too much, as Richards came out of the game after the fourth batter of the game.
We got some offense early with a leadoff double by Ian Kinsler. After a throwing error by the Angels, Elvis Andrus had an RBI infield groundout for the first run. The Angels answered back in the bottom of the second with a single/double combo by Hunter & Wells to tie the game at 1. The Rangers however got it right back in the top of the third with another double by Kinsler, and then a double by Hamilton. We never looked back.
That’s because the offense exploded in the fifth with a six spot. It was highlighed by back to back home runs by Nelson Cruz & Mike Napoli. Those two home runs were the first two batters faced by Anaheim reliever Rich Thompson, too.
The Angels added a few more runs in the fifth & seventh to make it a bit closer, but the six run inning was an deflator for the Angels, I’d wager.
Alexi Ogando got his 12th win of the season after going 6.1 innings. Bit high on the walks (8) and runs (4), but he got the win, which is ultimately the entire point. Uehara & Lowe kept the Angels under check after that, so we took the win on Monday night.
Five up in the West now.