ANAHEIM, Calif. – The final tune-up for C.J. Wilson going into the playoffs lasted an inning shorter than expected.
Wilson didn’t have his best stuff against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night, but worked two scoreless innings in what became a 4-3 victory for the Rangers at Angel Stadium.
The victory drops Texas’ magic number to two for home-field advantage in the American League Division Series. Detroit stayed within one-game by defeating Cleveland. It also ended any hope the Angels had of making the postseason.
Wilson stranded two runners in each of his innings, allowing two hits with two walks and no strikeouts. He threw 38 pitches, 20 for strikes, as he prepares for Game 1 of the ALDS.
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The Rangers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. In the first, Ian Kinsler led off with a single, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a throwing error during an infield single by Elvis Andrus.
Adrian Beltre then belted a two-run shot in the fourth, his 11th home run of the month. He has homered in six of his last eight games.
The Rangers seemed to be cruising all night, as reliever Mark Hamburger worked three scoreless innings. He came out for the sixth, and recorded two outs but also gave up a double to Torii Hunter.
With two outs and one on, Texas turned to Darren Oliver to get out of the jam. But Oliver gave up an infield single to Alberto Callaspo and an RBI single to Mike Trout. He then issued back-to-back walks, the latter with the bases loaded to pull the Angels to within 3-2.
Koji Uehara ended the inning, though, as Maicer Izturis popped out. Uehara then worked a perfect seventh.
The Rangers tacked on another run in the eighth, which proved to be the difference. Andrus, who went 4 for 5, scored on a single by Michael Young to give Texas a 4-2 lead.
Mike Adams threw a perfect eighth, and Neftali Feliz earned his 31st save allowing one run in the ninth. Hamburger earned the victory, the first of his major league career.
How the Rangers pitchers fared: C.J. Wilson didn’t have his best stuff, but worked through two scoreless innings in his final start before the postseason. Mark Hamburger looked good in 3 2/3 innings of relief, and earned his first major league victory. Darren Oliver struggled, giving up two hits and two walks without recording an out. But Koji Uehara got out of the jam, and Mike Adams pitched a perfect eighth. Neftali Feliz allowed one run in the ninth, but still earned his 31st save.
How the Rangers hitters fared: Elvis Andrus went 4 for 4 with a run scored. Adrian Beltre belted a two-run shot to left-center, his 11th home run of the month. Michael Young went 1 for 3 with a walk, run and RBI. His season average is at .338, as he trails Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera (.343) in the AL batting title race.
-- Drew Davison