Richards gets 13th win for Angels, 5-4 at Texas
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Kole Calhoun is embracing his role leading off for the Los Angeles Angels. And he's doing it well.
Calhoun opened the game with a single and added a double before his tiebreaking, three-run homer that put the Angels ahead to stay in a 5-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night, when Garrett Richards worked into the eighth inning for his 13th win.
''I want to be a catalyst for the offense, get on base, score some runs,'' Calhoun said by phone after initially making a quick exit from the clubhouse after the game. ''I want so bad to get on base. ... I'm having fun right there.''
Calhoun, who finished a triple shy of the cycle, was also hit by a pitch. He had multiple hits for the fifth time in his last six games.
''He kind of flies under the radar, but I don't know if there are too many leadoff men as dynamic as Kole has been,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Richards (13-4), who struck out seven without a walk in 7 1-3 innings, has won all four of his starts this season against Texas. The right-hander allowed two runs while scattering seven hits.
''He's been the same every time,'' said Adrian Beltre, who got three of his four hits off Richards.
Angels catcher Chris Iannetta said Richards is ''coming into his own.''
''We're just seeing him mature,'' Iannetta said. ''He's got great stuff, and he's starting to command it more.''
The Angels led for good after Calhoun's 412-foot shot off Nick Martinez (2-9) into the second deck of seats in right field made it 4-1 in the fifth. Another run scored when Calhoun grounded into a double play in the seventh.
Huston Street worked a perfect ninth for his eighth save in as many chances since the Angels acquired him. He has 11 scoreless innings in 11 games since the July 18 trade from San Diego, where he had 24 saves.
Martinez struck out six while allowing four runs and six hits in six innings.
''Just one unexecuted pitch, the one to Calhoun. He wanted to go down and away, and ended up pulling it across the middle of the plate,'' Texas manager Ron Washington said. ''Other than that, I thought he did a swell job.''
STRIKE THREE - TIMES FOUR
Josh Hamilton was 1 for 5 with four strikeouts, the hit an opposite-field bloop single off a pitcher making his major league debut. Hamilton is 5 for 38 (.132) over his last 10 games, and without an RBI in his last nine. ''We're not seeing the aggressive Josh Hamilton that we saw when he played for Texas. We're not seeing that,'' Scioscia said. ''There's a lot of things that he's trying. Josh is working very hard, and nobody feels worse than Josh. We need him in the middle of our lineup doing what he can do.''
David Freese and Iannetta, the bottom two batters in the Angels' lineup, were a combined 5 for 7 with four runs. Calhoun's 13th homer came after Freese and Iannetta started the fifth with consecutive singles. Freese has an 11-game hitting streak.
ONE BAD NIGHT
Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen has been spectacular lately, allowing only two earned runs over 39 innings in his previous 44 games. But the right-hander gave up two runs while getting only one out after relieving Richards in the eighth. Jepsen leads the majors with 54 scoreless appearances.
Angels: Rookie RHP Mike Morin is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list Saturday, the first day the reliever is eligible to come back after missing 13 games with a cut on his left foot. Morin threw a scoreless inning for Class A Inland Empire on Thursday night before joining the team in Texas. He is 3-3 with a 2.36 ERA in 41 games.
Rangers: Alex Rios was back in RF for the first time since Sunday, when he re-aggravated a right ankle sprain on a slide. After being the DH the previous two games, he did some early work in the field before starting in the outfield.
Los Angeles goes for its ninth consecutive win against the Rangers, which would match its longest streak in the series, a mark set from 1985-86. Matt Shoemaker tries to become the Angels' third 11-game winner in the middle game of the weekend set. Colby Lewis (8-9) starts for Texas.