ARLINGTON (AP) — Nelson Cruz hit a solo homer with one out in the ninth inning to give the Texas Rangers a 7-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
Cruz hit his first home run of the season into the Texas bullpen off Scot Shields (0-2) to help the Rangers beat Los Angeles for the first time this year after five straight losses.
Eric Gagne (1-0) worked a scoreless ninth for his first win since June 10, 2005, with the Los Angeles Dodgers against Minnesota. Ian Kinsler, Hank Blalock and Brad Wilkerson also homered for the Rangers.
Gary Matthews Jr. homered twice and drove in four runs for the Angels against his former team. He connected from both sides of the plate.
Shea Hillenbrand and Mike Napoli hit consecutive homers in the fourth for Los Angeles, and Casey Kotchman had three hits. Vladimir Guerrero went 2-for-4 and has hit safely in 56 of 60 career games against Texas.
Angels reliever Hector Carrasco and manager Mike Scioscia were ejected in the seventh by plate umpire Alfonso Marquez after Carrasco hit Kinsler with a pitch with the score tied at 6.
Mark Teixeira surpassed Alex Rodriguez’s Rangers record by playing in his 483rd straight game.
The last game Teixeira sat out was May 20, 2004, when he missed his second consecutive game due to a bruised left hand. Teixeira has the second-longest active streak in the major leagues behind Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada, who played in his 1,118th straight game Sunday.
The Angels jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first against starter Mike Wood on Matthews’ first homer.
In the third, Kinsler snapped an 0-for-15 slide with his 10th homer, a two-run shot, and Teixeira added an RBI double to give Texas a 3-2 advantage. Teixeira stretched his hitting streak to 11 games, the longest by a Rangers player this season.
Hillenbrand hit his first homer in the fourth and Napoli followed with his second to put the Angels in front 4-3.
Blalock’s solo drive off starter Ervin Santana in the fourth — his third — tied it at 4.
In the fifth, Guerrero reached on shortstop Michael Young’s throwing error, and after the Rangers brought in lefty C.J. Wilson, Matthews hit his sixth homer to give Los Angeles a 6-4 edge.
Wilkerson’s two-run shot in the sixth — his fifth — tied it at 6.