by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, September 29th, 2012

BY:  Dic Humphrey

ARLINGTON, Texas – Los Angeles’ Jered Weaver was too much for the Rangers Friday night, shutting them down with two runs over seven innings to notch his 20th win of the season against four losses.  The final score was 7-4.  He becomes the first American League pitcher to reach the 20 win plateau this year, and just the seventh pitcher in Angels’ history to attain the coveted mark.  The last Angel to win 20 was Bartolo Colon in 2005, and he won the Cy Young Award that season.  Weaver may well join Colon on the list of Cy Young Award winners.

It was actually not one of Weaver’s better games.  He was aided by two Rangers getting thrown out on the bases, a recurring theme for Texas of late.  Ranger manager Ron Washington also noted after the game, “We was hitting him pretty good all night.  We hit some balls hard.  We just didn’t catch any luck.”  He particularly pointed out a hard hit ball by Mike Napoli in the second inning with two runners on base that could have made a huge difference in the game if it had fallen in.  It didn’t as Mark Trumbo made a fine running catch to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster started for Texas and got the Rangers behind on the scoreboard quickly, as he allowed a lead-off home run to Mike Trout, his 29th of the season.  The Angels followed Trout’s lead-off home run with a Chris Iannetta solo home run in the third inning and single runs in fourth and sixth.

Dempster was seemingly in trouble all night.  Besides the four runs, a lead-off single in the second was erased with a double play.  Trout tripled in the third, but was cut down at the plate on a ground ball to third.  Dempster left with two outs in the sixth and two Angels on base, but Robbie Ross quelled the threat by coaxing a ground out.

For the evening, Dempster gave up the four runs on seven hits, walked Albert Pujols twice, and struck out seven.  It was the best of his three starts against the Angels since joining the Rangers in a July 31 trade, but the loss moved his record to 12-8 for the year and 7-3 in 11 Texas starts.

Ross allowed three more Angels’ runs in the seventh inning.  He has now allowed five hits and four earned runs in four appearances since being activated from the disabled list earlier this month.  The magic of the first half of the season seems to have worn off, and this has to be a worry for the Rangers going into the playoffs.  They may carry two lefties in the post-season bullpen, but neither Ross, nor Kirkman, nor Perez is pitching well at this juncture of the season.

The Rangers’ offense began with Nelson Cruz.  He recorded the Rangers’ first hit of the game – a second inning double.  In the fourth, he knocked in the first Ranger run of the game with a sacrifice fly; and in the seventh, he hit his 23rd home run of the year.  He added a third hit in the eighth inning, but was cut down trying to stretch it to a double.

Adrian Beltre accounted for the other two Ranger runs with an eighth inning home run with a runner aboard.  It was his 36th of the year, and the RBIs brought his season total to 100, his fourth year with a triple digit RBI total.

In Oakland, the A’s beat the Mariners, so the Rangers’ magic numbers to clinch the division title stayed at three over the A’s and one over the Angels.  In Toronto, the Yankees beat the Jays to move within one game of the Rangers for the best record in the American League.  The magic to eliminate the Yankees for best record and the number one playoff seed is five.

Game two of this series starts at 3:05 Saturday afternoon, rather than 7:00 PM as originally scheduled to accommodate the FOX network, who will be televising the game locally on Channel 4.


  • Prior to Friday’s game, the Rangers announced that Mike Adams underwent an MRI on and has been shut down indefinitely, a day after allowing three home runs against the Athletics in just two-thirds of an inning.  He had allowed just one home run previously this season, and had never allowed more than one home run in an inning in his career.  He is still troubled by shoulder soreness.  The MRI indicated no structural damage, but there is no time table for his return.
  • Friday’s attendance was 36,662, the 36th official sellout of the year.  Total home attendance for the season is now 3,365,478, a per-game average of 42,601.
  • The Rangers have led the West Division for 174 days, the most of any team in 2012.  Texas has also held the American League’s best record for 38 consecutive days.

Koji Uehara pitched a three-up three-down ninth inning, and has now retired the last 20 batters he has faced, 12 of which were strikeou


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