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THIS DEFEAT HURTS EXTRA ANGELS RALLY TO TIE, BUT EVENTUALLY LOSE.

Byline: DOUG PADILLA Staff Writer

ANAHEIM -- The Angels forged some new life Thursday, which only delayed their third defeat in the past four games.

The Angels rallied for four runs in the eighth inning to tie the score, but the Rangers won the opener of a four-game series 7-6 on a Mark Teixeira home run in the 12th inning off Kevin Gregg.

The Angels' eighth-inning rally did help rookie pitcher Jered Weaver avoid the first defeat of his career. And Adam Kennedy extended his career-high hitting streak to 17 games, as he delivered his first hit with a single in the 12th inning.

The Angels fell two games behind the first-place Oakland Athletics, while the Rangers are 2 1/2 back in third place in the American League West.

``We didn't help ourselves in a couple of areas, and when you play a team that is as explosive as they are, you really need to make pitches,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``I think Jered did a good job, he just needed a lot of pitches (105 in six innings).''

The Angels' eighth-inning rally started when Vladimir Guerrero delivered an RBI double for the first run. Two batters later, Juan Rivera hit a towering three-run homer into the Rangers' bullpen to tie the score. Rivera, who has 12 home runs in his past 26 games, hit a first-pitch fastball from reliever Rick Bauer, who had just entered the game.

Weaver was not horrible, as he gave up three runs in six innings, but he got no help from a bullpen that gave up three runs in the seventh inning as the Rangers took a seemingly comfortable 6-2 lead. All three runs were charged to Hector Carrasco, who have up four consecutive hits to open the seventh.

While Rivera's home run prevented Weaver from losing the game, it also spoiled what had been a solid outing from Rangers starter Kevin Millwood.

Two of the Angels' eighth-inning runs belonged to Millwood.

Weaver gave up his three runs on eight hits in six innings, getting burned in the sixth on back-to-back triples from Hank Blalock and Mark DeRosa. The first one wasn't entirely Weaver's fault as Garret Anderson played Blalock's soft liner down the left-field line into the three-base hit.

But DeRosa's RBI triple to the gap in right-center was well struck, as was the line-drive RBI single from Ian Kinsler that followed.

Weaver gave up the most hits he has allowed in any start, with the previous high of seven coming in his last outing on Saturday against the Boston Red Sox. After winning his first seven starts, Weaver has gone winless in his past two.

``I don't know if he was as fine with some of his pitches, but he pitched a strong ballgame and definitely gave us a chance to win this ballgame,'' Scioscia said. ``The one thing was his pitch count. He was having trouble getting ahead and putting hitters away the way he has been in recent games.''

After Brad Wilkerson gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the second inning with a sacrifice fly to score DeRosa, Guerrero tied it up in spectacular fashion in the fourth inning, hitting his team-high 22nd home run that rattled off the faux rocks in left-center field. The ball appeared to easily travel 420 feet. Guerrero has now hit safely in all 43 games he has played against the Rangers in his career.

After the Rangers scored their two runs in the sixth, the Angels nearly answered with two of their own on a full-count single to center from Garret Anderson. Maicer Izturis scored from third but Orlando Cabrera was thrown out by Rangers center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. while racing in from second base.

doug.padilla@sgvn.com

(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2731

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The Angels' Juan Rivera, right, is congratulated by Vladimir Guerrero and Garret Anderson after hitting a three-run home run in the eighth inning to tie the score.

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

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ANGELS vs. TEXAS

- Doug Padilla
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Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 4, 2006
Words:675
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