Rangers hope thrilling win serves as springboard

Rangers hope thrilling win serves as springboard

ARLINGTON -- Coming off arguably their most thrilling victory this season, the Rangers were able to do something Thursday they had not done since the All-Star break -- win two straight games.

More important, the Rangers split a four-game series with the Angels and extended their lead in the American League West to five games.

After the Angels took a 7-1 lead in the third inning Wednesday night, it seemed as if they would cut the Rangers' division lead to two games, what would have been their slimmest lead since April 13. But Ian Kinsler sent the game to extra innings with a game-tying home run in the ninth inning and Elvis Andrus won it with a walk-off, two-run single in the 10th.

That win, coupled with the 15-9 victory on Thursday night, was an encouraging start to August after the Rangers went 9-14 and scored a Major League-worst 81 runs in July.

"We got angry and got back to being ourselves," Andrus said. "It's not just about yesterday. The past four or five games, actually, we've been hitting the ball better. Guys are having more quality at-bats. Nelson [Cruz], [David] Murphy, and [Mike] Napoli are swinging the bat extremely well. Those are the guys that we need. They were key last year for us."

The last time the Rangers won games on consecutive days were the two games before the All-Star break, when they recorded 4-3 walk-off, extra-inning victories over the Twins on July 7-8. That was only after losing the first five games of the month, which saw them win fewer games in any month in team history since May 2007, when the Rangers went 9-20.

"It was a gut check [Wednesday] night," manager Ron Washington said. "We certainly showed some life on the offensive side. That's what's been missing. When you're down against a team like that, there's no expectations of coming back. We just had the attitude that we would not be denied and we were going to get it done. It's embarrassing when you're getting beat and you're better than them."