The Rangers won their fourth game in a row and completed their first three-game sweep of the season, downing the Angels 6-5 on May 18 with a walk-off home run in extra innings by Nathanial Lowe.
“This group fights, and that’s what we do,” Lowe said after the game-winning homer. “It proves that we can compete in this division. We can compete in this league. We got winners in this clubhouse.”
The Angels entered the series tied with the Astros for the lead in the American League West. The Angels’ loss leaves them one game back of the Astros (24-14) with a record of 24-16. Next, Houston will host the Rangers for a series starting May 19 for a three-game set.
For Texas, the win makes 17-19 on the year, giving the Rangers a .472 winning percentage and moving the team into third place in the AL West ahead of Seattle (17-21, .440) and Oakland (16-24, .400).
The Rangers now trail the Angels by five games and the 2020 World Series Champion and first-place Astros by six games.
It was the Rangers’ first sweep of three or more games since June of 2021 against the Royals. The sweep of the Angels is also the first time the team has won four consecutive games in a homestand since moving to Globe Life Field in 2020.
The Rangers trailed early, sitting at 2-0 before Jonah Heim hit his first of two bloop singles to score runners in the game in the third inning, pushing Kole Calhoun across home plate and halving the deficit 2-1.
Heim’s second bloop to left field again fell in front of Angels outfielder Tyler Wade in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game 2-2.
Heim ended the game going 3-for-5 with two RBI.
“He just had a really good plan against [Ohtani] today, and he executed it,” Rangers skipper Chris Woodard said.
Dane Dunning got the start for the Rangers and lasted six innings, allowing just three hits (two of them home runs), two earned runs with three walks, and six strikeouts. Though a nice outing, Dunning did not earn a decision in the game as the Rangers bullpen blew a save opportunity in the ninth.
One of the two home runs Dunning yielded to Anaheim was off of the bat of Mike Trout for the latter’s 43rd total against Texas. The home run now ties Trout with Hall of Fame member Reggie Jackson for the most all-time home runs against the Rangers in a career (on Jackson’s 76th birthday).
Anaheim had 2022 American League MVP Shohei Ohtani on the mound, and the 27-year-old, 6’4″ righty gave up six hits in six innings worked, allowing two runs while walking two and striking out seven. Raisel Iglesias earned the loss, dropping to 1-2 on the season.
Rangers reliever Dennis Santana picked up the win as he pitched the top of the 10th inning, yielding an unearned run that gave the Angels a 5-4 lead ahead of Lowe’s last at-bat heroics. Santana sees his record improve to 2-1 on the year.
The Rangers travel to Houston to take on the Astros on Thursday, May 19, at Minute Maid Park, starting at 7:10 p.m. Projected starting pitchers for the contest are Glenn Otto (1-1) for Texas and Frambler Valdez for the Astros.