Hurley looks sharp against Angels

Hurley looks sharp against Angels

Hurley looks sharp against Angels
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels and Rangers gave fans at Tempe Diablo Stadium a demonstration on Tuesday of why the American League West is known for its superlative pitching.

With starters Ervin Santana of the Angels and the Rangers' Eric Hurley setting the tone, each delivering three scoreless innings, pitching was the name of the game. A leadoff single by Peter Bourjos and RBI double by Maicer Izturis in the sixth snapped a scoreless duel, and Jeff Mathis squeezed home Mark Trumbo in the seventh, handing the Angels a 2-1 decision.

The Angels did not have a hit until Brandon Wood laced a one-out single in the fifth after center fielder Julio Borbon had taken an extra-base hit from Trumbo.

Texas had threatened against Santana in the first with Borbon's single and a walk putting runners at the corners with one away, but Santana struck out former batterymate Mike Napoli and retired Mitch Moreland.

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"High heat," Santana said, referring to his strikeout of the powerful Napoli. "Everything was good today. I got the ball down when I wanted, mixed it up. For right now, it's good. But there's still a long way to go."

Santana departed having struck out two hitters, while Hurley also fanned a pair after walking the first two men he faced. The Angels ran into an inning-ending double play when Izturis was picked off second with Vernon Wells batting.

Trumbo singled leading off the seventh and advanced on right fielder Engel Beltre's error. Mathis' squeeze scored Trumbo after Efren Navarro's grounder to the right side moved him to third.

An expertly turned double play by Angels second baseman Kevin Melillo and shortstop Jean Segura took Garrett Richards out of a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth. Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi (two innings) had shut down Texas before Richards worked a scoreless seventh.

Matt Kata's ninth-inning RBI for Texas avoided a shutout.

"They executed twice, and we didn't," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

The Angels and Rangers are both 6-5 in Cactus League play.

Up next for Angels: The focus once again is on Scott Kazmir as the lefty tries to stretch out to four innings on Wednesday against the Rockies in a 2:05 p.m. CT Cactus League game available on Gameday Audio from Tempe, Ariz. Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin will start for Colorado. Southpaw Trevor Reckling and right-handed relievers Jason Bulger, Kevin Jepsen and Jordan Walden follow Kazmir, who threw three scoreless innings his last time out against the White Sox.

Up next for Rangers: Ian Kinsler takes a six-game hitting streak into Wednesday's 2:05 p.m. CT game against the Athletics in Surprise, Ariz. Kinsler has four home runs and seven RBIs in seven games while hitting .444 with a 1.167 slugging percentage. Derek Holland starts for the Rangers while Neftali Feliz is scheduled to pitch three innings out of the bullpen. The game will be available live via a free audio webcast on texasrangers.com.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.