(The Sports Xchange) - Left-hander Hector Santiago and three relievers combined on a two-hit shutout as the Los Angeles Angels earned a 7-0 win over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
Santiago (8-9) permitted only one hit, a double by second baseman Rougned Odor in the second inning, but tied a career high with six walks before finishing with three strikeouts in the first shutout of his career.
”For the most part, I treated a walk as a hit: Forget about it and go after the next guy,“ Santiago said. ”For some reason, I pitch better with guys on base. I’ve got to bear down.
“I needed this one for sure, just to show I can still get guys out even if I put them on base.”
Second baseman Taylor Featherston collected three hits and two RBIs while third baseman David Freese added three hits and center fielder Mike Trout hit a home run.
“It’s just huge to contribute, especially down the stretch,” said Featherston, who started five of the Angels’ past six games with Johnny Giavotella on the disabled list.
“When you’re playing every day, you kind of let your instincts take over. All the hard work you put in starts to pay off.”
The Angels used their fourth win in five games to move within 2-1/2 games of the Rangers for the American League’s second wild-card spot and remain 5-1/2 games behind the first-place Houston Astros in the Western Division.
Second-place Texas fell three games behind Houston in the divisional race.
Trout gave the Angels a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when he broke a 27-game drought without a home run, the longest stretch of his career, when he propelled a fastball from right-hander Colby Lewis just over the right-field fence for his 34th homer of the season.
Los Angeles combining three hits, two walks, a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch into three runs and a 4-0 advantage in the second before they chased Lewis in the sixth with two more runs.
Featherston had a run-scoring double and designated hitter Albert Pujols added a sacrifice fly.
Lewis (14-8) allowed six earned runs, 10 hits, three walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch while collecting five strikeouts.
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury