Angels Vs. Rangers: Maicer Izturis Drives Home Winner In 3-2 Contest

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Angels Vs. Rangers: Maicer Izturis Drives Home Winner In 3-2 Contest

On Friday night, the Texas Rangers gained a game on the Los Angeles Angels with a 4-1 win. So on Saturday afternoon, the Angels took that game right back, knocking off the Rangers 3-2 thanks to a strong performance by Dan Haren and a winning single by Maicer Izturis.

Always a tough opponent, the Rangers' task of beating Haren was made all the more difficult when Julio Borbon was placed on the disabled list before the game, meaning that the team's three starting outfielders were all on the DL. Not surprisingly, the Rangers had a hard time knocking Haren around, and scored just once through the first seven innings on an early RBI single by Adrian Beltre.

The Angels, meanwhile, didn't do a whole lot better against Derek Holland, but they did go into the bottom of the eighth with a 2-1 lead thanks to a pair of RBI doubles by Alberto Callaspo in the fourth and sixth innings. Callaspo's average is up to .314 on the year, where it was a paltry .265 a season ago.

The Rangers rallied to tie things up in the eighth. After Haren retired the first two batters, he allowed a double to Ian Kinsler before getting pulled and replaced by Fernando Rodney. Rodney subsequently got a groundball from Michael Young, but the ball ate up Erick Aybar at short and scooted into the outfield, allowing Kinsler to come around.

Just minutes later, though, the Angels re-took the lead. Facing Darren Oliver in the ninth, Jeff Mathis led off with a single, moved to second on a bunt, and wound up scoring on a line drive to left by Izturis. David Murphy came up throwing but didn't have a play, and the visitors were on top 3-2.

And closer Jordan Walden nailed things down with little trouble. In the ninth, Beltre grounded out, and then Walden took matters into his own hands by whiffing Murphy and Yorvit Torrealba to pick up his seventh save.

Sunday's rubber match of the series will pit Ervin Santana up against C.J. Wilson. The Angels' lead in the AL West over the Rangers - and the A's - is 1.5 games.

For more on the Angels and Rangers, please visit team blogs Halos Heaven and Lone Star Ball.

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