By Pete Zarustica
Adrian Beltre’s eighth-inning home run lifted the Texas Rangers to a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Friday night at the Big A. The teams dueled to a scoreless tie through six innings before the first runs came.
The loss dropped the Halos to 62-78, good for fourth place in the American League West, while Texas is now 84-58, reducing its magic number to 12 in the AL West race.
Tyler Skaggs pitched six shutout innings for the Angels, yielding just two hits while striking out eight and walking two. His performance was matched by the Rangers’ Yu Darvish, who made it through 6.2 innings. He gave up one run on three hits. Darvish struck out nine batters and walked one.
“I thought I was mixing the pitches well. [Catcher Jett Bandy] called a good game and kept the team in the game,” Skaggs said.
The deadlock was first broken in the top of the seventh when Elvis Andrus singled home Mitch Moreland. But the Angels matched that in the bottom of the innings when Andrelton Simmons tripled, bringing him Jefry Marte. Beltre’s 27th homer of the season settled matters.
In the ninth, the Angels put two runners on, but Simmons grounded out to end the threat and the game.
The series continues Saturday with Daniel Wright making his debut with the Angels.