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LAA@TEX: Aybar cranks one to right in the third

ARLINGTON -- Jered Weaver knew what was up -- too many of his pitches to suit this little slice of Texas paradise.

Unlike rested Alexi Ogando on the other side, Weaver wasn't razor-sharp on Friday night in front of 45,995 at Rangers Ballpark, where Elvis Andrus and Andre Beltre belted solo homers to power a 4-1 Texas triumph.

"If you pitch up in this park, you're going to be in trouble," Weaver said. "That's what happened. I can't really explain it. Sometimes you can't pinpoint."

And sometimes you're just imprecise enough to absorb a loss. Andrus lifted a low fastball over the wall to left in the first inning, and Beltre launched a changeup to left-center in the sixth.

"He's always pitched me with a lot of aggressiveness," Andrus said. "He throws me a lot of strikes. He knows I don't swing at bad pitches. I just wanted to stay on top of it and make good contact there."

Ogando (4-0) had missed his previous start due to a recurring blister on his right index finger, which was fitted for an acrylic nail during his nine-day layoff. The angular right-hander was nails in subduing the Angels, who came into the game flaunting the most productive road offense in the Majors.

"You've got to tip your hat to Ogando," Weaver said. "He kept our guys off balance. He threw a great ballgame. I would have had to shut them out today."

Evening the season series at 2-2, the Rangers moved to within a half-game of the American League West-leading Angels.

The loss was the third in a row for Weaver. He began the season by winning his first six decisions while allowing five earned runs, inflating expectations perhaps beyond reason.

"Outside of a couple of pitches, he didn't pitch that badly," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Weav is good. You're not going to be on every time out. If we were swinging the bats good, he gave us a chance to win. A couple of balls were maybe not where he wanted, and they didn't miss them."

Weaver was trailing two hitters into the game when Andrus went deep, his second homer of the season.

Showing he has as much pop as the rival shortstop, Erick Aybar tied it with a solo shot to right with two outs in the third. Aybar's first homer of the season extended his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games. Six of Aybar's 15 career homers have come against Texas.

The Rangers surged ahead in the fourth after Weaver had retired seven in a row. Ian Kinsler doubled into the left-field corner leading off and scored on Michael Young's double into the right-field corner.

A leadoff walk to former teammate Mike Napoli proved costly to Weaver in the fifth. With two outs, Andrus singled through the middle to score Napoli, who'd advanced to second on an infield out.

After Kinsler bunted for a single, Weaver escaped, retiring Young for the first time.

Weaver struck out six in his six innings, yielding seven hits and one walk. His ERA rose from 1.87 to 2.26 with the four earned runs he allowed. His ERA is 5.50 over his past three outings.

"The changeup was a little up to Beltre," Angels catcher Hank Conger said. "They made some good swings on some good pitches. The one to Andrus was down, a fastball.

"With Weav on the mound, expectations are high. You can't be perfect every time. There's nothing wrong with him."

The Angels threatened in the fifth and sixth, but both times Ogando made pitches to escape. Conger singled and Mark Trumbo was hit by a pitch in the fifth, but Peter Bourjos banged into his first double play of the season in 132 at-bats.

In the sixth, Bobby Abreu and Maicer Izturis singled with one out, but Ogando dispatched Torii Hunter and Howard Kendrick.

Alberto Callaspo was stranded after a leadoff double in the seventh when he did not advance on Conger's deep out to center.

The Angels came into the game leading the Majors in road batting average (.300) and homers (25), averaging 5.4 runs. But Ogando's mid-90s heat and big breaking ball limited them to five hits as he struck out five.

"He threw real well," Conger said. "It's the first time I've seen him pitch. He's got a good fastball, and his breaking ball is kind of a slurve. He also showed a good changeup. He made pitches when he needed to."

Indeed. The Angels were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position after hitting .361 in those situations in the previous eight games.

Former Angels reliever Darren Oliver worked a perfect eighth for Texas, and closer Neftali Feliz remained perfect with his seventh save. Feliz has 18 straight successes dating to last season.

Defensively, the Angels remained air-tight. They have not committed an error in the past eight games. Comments