Angels 7, Rangers 3
John Lackey was remarkable in every aspect minus pitch count, but a pitch count of 100 in the sixth is acceptable when you strike out a career high 12 batters. Big John struck out 7 straight batters, one short of the Angel record set by Nolan Ryan who, coincidentally, was sitting in the second row. This was an important start for Lackey as he tunes up for the playoffs...his last couple starts have been underwhelming.
Mark Teixeira (sign him) hit a two-run homer in the first that was basically all the offense the Angels would need until the ninth, when Jason Bulger suffered a mini-implosion, allowing a three-run home run before striking out the next three batters to close out the game. Tex (sign him) is one hell of a baseball player and you've gotta hope Arte is looking very seriously at signing him for the next few years.
Power came from an unexpected location with a three-run homer to dead center off the bat of Sean Rodriguez. During the previous at bat, Sean had been hit in the hand by Texas starter Scott Feldman. Feldman, Padilla, whoever. They're all hitting more batters than they should, Feldman having hit Teixeira during his second at bat of the afternoon. I wish the league would do something about this, particularly Padilla, a known menace and general asshole.
Jose Arredondo added scoreless seventh and eighth innings to get the game to Bulger and looked good doing so, getting 4 groundball outs to just one flyout.
The Angels have four games with Seattle before three more with Texas. They've clinched home field advantage in the ALDS and look to get to 100 wins while staying ahead of Tampa to ensure home-field in the ALCS, should they make it that far.
I'd like to see more Darren O'Day before the season is over. Possible returns for Howie Kendrick and Juan Rivera are rapidly approaching.