Trout's HR carries Angels over Rangers

Trout's HR carries Angels over Rangers

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers will have to wait until they get to Oakland before they get another chance to clinch the American League West.

They were hoping to do that at home on Wednesday, but that didn't happen, as the Astros defeated the Athletics in the afternoon and the Rangers went down, 5-4, to the Angels in a night game at Globe Life Park.

Despite not being able to clinch in front of their home crowd, the Rangers did take two of three from the Angels.

"There's not a letdown when you win a series," said Carlos Beltran, who hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning. "We won the series, and now we've got to move on. ... Unfortunately, [the clinch] didn't happen. But there's not a letdown."

The Rangers are now 8 1/2 games ahead of the Astros in the AL West with nine to play, and their magic number is 2. The Rangers are off on Thursday before opening a three-game series with the Athletics on Friday at the Coliseum. The Astros have a four-game series with the Angels starting on Thursday at Minute Maid Park.

Mike Trout delivered the big blow for the Angels with a three-run home run in the fifth inning off Rangers starter Derek Holland. That allowed Angels starter Jered Weaver to earn his 150th career win, as he held the Rangers to four runs in six innings. A.J. Achter, JC Ramirez and Andrew Bailey each pitched a scoreless inning to preserve the Angels' one-run lead.

"It's one of those things that I'll think about when I'm done and take it all in," Weaver said of the milestone. "But it was just a good team win today. We put some runs on the board, and the bullpen came in and did a great job."

Weaver strikes out Lucroy

Inning-opening error sets table for Trout: In the fifth inning, Angels leadoff hitter Carlos Perez hit a sharp, skipping grounder right at Rangers third baseman Jurickson Profar, and the ball went right through Profar's legs for an error. Profar made a fine diving catch on a foul bunt popup by the next batter, Shane Robinson, but Holland walked Yunel Escobar and then Trout hit a towering three-run homer to left-center, putting the Angels up, 5-1.

"Mike is making a big case for MVP," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's done everything you could ever ask a player to do, and unfortunately, we haven't had the depth around him to take advantage of some of the things he's done."

Profar's diving catch on a bunt

Scheppers is lights out: Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers entered the game with runners on first and second and one out in the sixth with Texas trailing, 5-4. After walking Perez to load the bases, he got Cliff Pennington to strike out and Escobar to ground out to end the inning. The walk to Perez was the only baserunner that Scheppers allowed in 2 1/3 innings, his longest career relief outing.

"Another outstanding outing," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "That's what we need." More >

Scheppers escapes jam in 6th

Beltran takes Weaver deep: With a 5-2 lead, Weaver had a runner on first with two outs, and thought he had Beltran struck out on a 1-2 changeup. But the pitch was called a ball, and Beltran hit the next one into the right-field bleachers for a two-run home run.

"He is a tremendous player," Banister said. "My job is to keep the energy level up with him and keep him fresh and get him some games in the outfield."

Weaver saves his best for last: Weaver threw three 1-2-3 innings, and his most dominant inning was his sixth and final frame. He fell behind Rougned Odor, 3-1, but battled back to strike out Odor looking. He quickly struck out Jonathan Lucroy, also on a called third strike, before recording the final out on the next pitch when Mitch Moreland flied out to center field. Weaver threw 12 pitches in his last inning, but he had thrown 95 total, so Scioscia handed things to the bullpen to start the seventh.

"He finished a strong six innings tonight," Scioscia said. "We make a play here or there and he's sitting on a quality start." More >

"It was more doing it for the fans. But for us? Believe me, no matter if we clinch here, or Oakland or anywhere, as long as you're in, that's been our main goal. That's our first goal. Now it's got to be Oakland, and we've got to go out there and be aggressive." -- Andrus, on the Rangers not being able to clinch the AL West at home

Weaver has 18 career wins against the Rangers, tied for the fifth most all-time. Bartolo Colon leads, with 20, followed by Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris and Dennis Leonard with 19. Weaver is tied with Roger Clemens, Felix Hernandez, Mike Mussina and Barry Zito.

Angels: Right-hander Ricky Nolasco will start the opener of a four-game series in Houston at 5:10 p.m. PT on Thursday. Nolasco is 5-1 with a 4.38 ERA in eight career appearances against the Astros, but he hasn't faced them since they joined the American League in 2013. Houston has won 11 in a row over Los Angeles.

Rangers: The Rangers open a three-game series with the Athletics at 8:35 p.m. CT on Friday at the Oakland Coliseum. Cole Hamels will be on the mound for the Rangers as they play their final road series of the regular season.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Dave Sessions is a contributor to based in Texas and covered the Angels on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.