ANGELS WIN WAS A STROLL IN THE PARK : ANGELS 7, TEXAS 6.
The Texas Rangers helped the Angels walk away with a victory Saturday night.
The Angels were aided by 10 walks during a 7-6 victory over the Rangers in front of 38,902 at The Ballpark in Arlington and are making their divisional race one to keep at least one eye on.
The Angels' 10 walks tied a season-high, which last occurred against San Diego on June 13 and was two shy of tying a club record. Anaheim right fielder Tim Salmon also tied a club record with four walks, which was last accomplished by Jim Edmonds on April 4 against Cleveland.
The victory moved the Angels, who have won five of their past seven, five games behind the division-leading Seattle Mariners, whose magic number remained at three. However, Anaheim's wild-card chances ended when the New York Yankees clinched with a victory over Toronto.
The Mariners will play Oakland today and Monday night while the Angels finish their season series with Texas today and are idle Monday. A victory by the Angels or a loss by Seattle against the Athletics would send Seattle home Tuesday to a two-game series with Anaheim without the AL West crown in hand.
``We're hanging in there and coming in loose to (today's) game now,'' Angels manager Terry Collins said. ``We're going to try to win the ballgame and the one thing I really want is to walk into (the Kingdome) and be able to get closer.''
``They put some people on and we took advantage of it,'' said Collins about the walks. ``I know that (Texas manager) Johnny (Oates) is probably saying the same thing. When you walk people you are asking for trouble.''
In the ninth, the Rangers posed a threat by getting three men on with two outs off Angels closer Troy Percival. Texas' Ivan Rodriguez followed with a two-run single up the middle to trim Anaheim's advantage to 7-6.
But Percival earned his 26th save by striking out Rusty Greer.
``We had a little offense in the ninth and we had the right man at the plate,'' Oates said. ``Rusty has come through with some big hits for us. We just did too many things (Saturday) that keeps you from winning one-run ballgames.''
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the third on Tony Phillips' solo homer off Texas starter Rick Helling (2-3).
Juan Gonzalez, however, vaulted the Rangers ahead 3-1 in the fourth with a 419-foot three-run homer off Angels starter Dennis Springer (9-9). Gonzalez's 39th home run of the season gave him the top four single-season home-run marks in Texas history and 75 career RBI against Anaheim, tops against any opponent.
The Angels entered the seventh down 4-2, but scored four runs on three hits and three walks to go ahead 6-4. Anaheim added the deciding run on a four-walk eighth in which Dave Hollins, who walked in two runs, walked in Phillips for the game-winning run.
In 6-1/2 innings, Springer struck out two and allowed four runs on nine hits and a walk. The knuckleballer, who was 0-4 in his last seven outings, earned his first victory since Aug. 18 at Milwaukee.
``Sometimes you don't pitch good and you don't get a win,'' said Springer, who wasn't happy with his performance. ``And sometimes you pitch games and you feel like you'll win and you don't. But you always take them when you can.''
``We're treading (water),'' he said. ``I guess you're never out until the numbers say you're out. It is going to be really tough (to catch Seattle). But if we can win here (today) and they could lose a couple for us, it could be a little interesting in Seattle.''
Notes: On Tuesday at Seattle, the Angels' Allen Watson (12-10) will face Mariners ace Randy Johnson (18-4). On Wednesday, Angels All-Star Jason Dickson (13-8) will counter Seattle's Jamie Moyer (17-4). . . . With his single in the second, Anaheim's Dave Hollins advanced to a career-high nine-game hitting streak. . . . Angels catcher Chad Turner wasn't allowed to fly to Texas with the team Thursday night because the air pressure might aggravate an injury he suffered earlier that night. The reserve received four stitches for a cut on the inside upper lip and had an inconclusive CT scan on the left side of his face. . . . The Angels' Ken Hill, who began the season with Texas, was one of a group of Rangers starting pitchers who donated $46,800 to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children through the K's for Kids program.