ARLINGTON -- Sparked by Nomar Mazara's epic home run and big production from the lower half of the order, the Rangers outlasted the Angels, 15-9 on Wednesday afternoon. The Rangers have won five of their last six, including two of three from the Angels.
Mazara, hitting in the No. 5 spot, had the memorable blast of the afternoon with his home run to lead off the second inning. But the bottom four hitters in the lineup -- Ryan Rua, Mitch Moreland, Elvis Andrus and Bobby Wilson -- were a combined 10-for-16 with eight runs scored and five runs batted in. Wilson had four hits, a career high for him and the most by a Rangers player this season.
"Pretty solid all the way through today," Moreland said. "A lot of guys on base, we created a lot of opportunities. We talked about that the last couple of days -- create more opportunities and get guys on base. … We were able to do that today."
Colby Lewis picked up the win despite allowing six runs in five innings. Angels starter Hector Santiago also allowed six runs, but was knocked out in the third inning.
The Angels cut their deficit to four on an eighth-inning three-run homer by Rafael Ortega, the first of his career, and had the tying run on deck when Mike Trout came up with two on and two outs later that inning. But Trout flied out, and the Rangers tacked on two more runs in the bottom half to pull away.
"That happens sometimes -- you have tough games like that," Ortega said. "We have to keep going. We have to keep our heads up and keep going."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Mazara crushes home run: Mazara hit a home run off Santiago that landed in the upper deck. According to Statcast™, the projected distance was 491 feet, the longest home run hit in the Major Leagues this season.
"That was loud," Wilson said. "You need earplugs for that one." More >
Another quick exit: Santiago was ejected by home-plate umpire John Tumpane after recording only eight outs on Friday, and he was pulled by Angels manager Mike Scioscia after recording only seven outs on Wednesday. Spotted a 1-0 lead in the first and a 4-1 lead in the second, Santiago proceeded to give up five hits and issue two walks, ultimately getting charged with six runs (five earned). His ERA has jumped from 3.42 to 4.58 over his last two starts.
"I just kind of fell apart," Santiago said. "I didn't have my good stuff today. Seeing-eye singles fell through, and [it was] just an all-around bad day. I was falling behind in counts, not making some great pitches. It just didn't go our way."
Barnette shuts off rally: The Angels, trailing 7-5, loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth on three straight singles from C.J. Cron and Johnny Giavotella off Lewis, and Ortega off of Alex Claudio. Right-handed reliever Tony Barnette then took over. He gave up a sacrifice fly to Jett Bandy to score one run, but then got out of the inning by getting Gregorio Petit on a fly to right and Yunel Escobar on a grounder.
"That was huge … probably the biggest part of the game," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. More >
Sloppy, sloppy: Bandy threw high on an attempted steal in the first, allowing Rougned Odor to take third and score on a groundout. In the sixth, first baseman Cron bobbled a sharp grounder and threw wide of home. Two batters later, lefty reliever Greg Mahle issued a bases-loaded walk to the left-handed-hitting Prince Fielder, who entered play with a .198 batting average. The next inning, Mahle hit Odor on an 0-2 pitch, setting the stage for Adrian Beltre's two-out, two-run single.
"Let me tell you one thing about these guys -- these guys, they feel it," said Scioscia, who had shortstop Brendan Ryan warming up in the bullpen in the eighth, coming close to using a position player to pitch for the first time ever. "They're playing hard. No matter what we've been presented with, they've been finding ways to give us chances to win games. This one was a little sloppy, but these guys know it, they feel it, they're going to be fine." More >
"I think it was in the seventh. He was like, 'Hey, have you pitched before?' I was like, 'Heh. Yeah.' He didn't ask me my stats, but I would've been happy to share them." -- Ryan, who pitched two scoreless innings for the Yankees last season, on his late-game exchange with Scioscia
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Ian Desmond had 10 putouts in center field for the Rangers. That's the most for a Rangers outfielder in a nine-inning game in club history.
Ortega, who has taken over as the Angels' left fielder, fielded a clean single from Wilson and nailed Moreland at home with a perfect one-hop throw to end the third inning. It was his fifth outfield assist this season, tied for the second-most among American League outfielders even though Ortega was only making his 21st start. Ortega later made an errant throw in the sixth, but no additional runs scored.
Bandy's hamstring cramped up while lacing a line-drive single in the eighth inning, prompting him to be taken out of the game and replaced by the Angels' primary catcher, Carlos Perez. Scioscia said Bandy shouldn't need any time off. The Angels already have 10 players on the disabled list, including Geovany Soto, who is recovering from surgery to his right knee and will not return until the middle of June, at the earliest.
WHAT'S NEXT Angels: The Angels are off on Thursday, then host a three-game weekend series against the division-rival Astros, with Friday's first pitch from Angel Stadium set for 7:05 p.m. PT. Matt Shoemaker (2-5, 6.81 ERA) will face fellow right-hander Mike Fiers (3-2, 4.35 ERA).
Rangers: The Rangers open a three-game series against the Pirates at 7:05 p.m. CT Friday at Globe Life Park. Left-hander Cole Hamels, who has won 12 straight decisions, is pitching for the Rangers.