By Pete Zarustica
Everything – starting pitching, the bullpen, hitting – came together on Sunday afternoon in Anaheim as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim defeated the Texas Rangers 3-1 to win the series and keep their hold on third place in the American League West.
Tyler Skaggs (3-3) pitched six scoreless innings and was supported by a two-run double by Luis Valbuena and a solo home run by Justin Upton. The Angels are now 32-28, 5.5 games back of the Seattle Mariners, who moved into first place.
At the start of the sixth, Skaggs had thrown 97 pitches, close to the usual limit.
“Tyler settled down,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s putting up zeros, but he was working for every out. His stuff looked really good today, but after the first two innings, we’re sitting there mapping it out, hoping he could get us five. He comes off in the fifth and felt good, so we said, ‘This is one of those days, man. Go out there and try to get us another three outs.’ He had a good sixth inning.”
Skaggs gave up just four hits on the night, while striking out six and walking three. Three relievers limited Texas to one hit, but walked four batters.
The Angels went up 2-0 in the second on Valbuena’s two-bagger, and then added an insurance run in the sixth when Upton slammed his 12th homer of the year. The Halos only had four hits, but they were well timed.
Another home series starts on Monday when the Orange County team plays the first of three against the Kansas City Royals (21-38). Nick Tropeano (3-3) will get the start for the Angels, with Danny Duffy (2-6) going for the Royals.
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