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TEX@LAA: Angels erupt for six runs in the sixth

ANAHEIM -- The Angels sent the Rangers a message on Wednesday, that they weren't ready to go quietly in the night.

The upshot was a baseball game with few equals this season in sheer entertainment value.

Seemingly down and out, the Angels' offense roared to life with six sixth-inning runs, turning a five-run deficit around to snap Texas' winning streak at 12 games with an improbable 9-8 victory in front of 40,052 at Angel Stadium.

The Angels' sixth-inning outburst, one run better than what Texas had put together in the fifth in chasing Dan Haren, began and ended with a Howard Kendrick hit.

"Call him 'the Firestarter,'" Torii Hunter said, motioning over toward Kendrick. "Rubbing two sticks together."

Scott Downs worked two perfect innings in relief of Hisanori Takahashi, who moved to 3-2 with the win. Tommy Hunter (1-1), in relief of Derek Holland, absorbed the loss.

Jordan Walden powered through the ninth for his 22nd save, striking out Nelson Cruz after Michael Young's two-out double. Walden also erased Adrian Beltre with high heat after Josh Hamilton flied out leading off.

With Holland angling for his ninth win, Kendrick doubled leading off the decisive sixth and scored on Mark Trumbo's single, Trumbo advancing on the throw home. After a groundout, rookie Mike Trout's explosive speed resulted in an infield hit and RBI on a grounder to Elvis Andrus at shortstop.

When Erick Aybar doubled home Trout, Holland's night was over.

Hunter appeared and retired Torii Hunter, who homered earlier, on an infield bullet, Aybar advancing. Bobby Abreu stroked a run-scoring single to right. After Abreu stole second and Vernon Wells walked, Alberto Callaspo's infield hit to deep short loaded the bases for Kendrick, who lined Hunter's first pitch to left-center for two runs and the lead.

"I was trying to get a fastball early in that situation," Kendrick said. "He threw a fastball, and I put a good swing on it."

The infield hits by Trout and Callaspo were critical, in the view of Texas manager Ron Washington.

"We just couldn't get out of the sixth inning," Washington said. "You have to give them credit. They strung some hits together and we couldn't stop it. That team over there has a lot of pride, they're not going to quit. We had the opportunity, we just couldn't shut it down.

"The ones that hurt were the infield hits. If we could have gotten those, we could have been out of the inning."

Texas was bidding for the second-longest winning streak in the Majors since Oakland won 20 games in a row in 2002, from August into September.

"Those guys have been hot, and their pitching has been awesome," Torii Hunter said. "To come back like that and win with a big inning, that's fun. We've been needing something like that to build some momentum."

The Rangers had cruised into the lead with a big inning of their own, a five-run fifth.

Haren was unable to make it out of the inning, the Rangers sending him to cover with four hits in five plate appearances. The final blow was a two-run double by Young, who preceded Haren to Bishop Amat High School in nearby LaPuente, Calif.

Haren watched his ERA rise from 2.75 to 3.10, yielding seven earned runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Holland also was charged with seven earned runs in 5 1/3 innings on nine hits.

Texas hit around against Haren and Takahashi in the fifth, which included a two-run double by Yorvit Torrealba off Takahashi that left fielder Wells lost in a bank of lights.

The Angels had Holland reeling in the first inning, settling for two runs and a lead on Kendrick's two-strike, two-out single to right.

"Howie's two hits, in the first and sixth inning, those were huge hits for us," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "When we got back in the dugout after they went ahead, 8-3, [hitting coach] Mickey [Hatcher] was saying, 'Guys, just have good at-bats.' We passed the baton."

The six runs in the sixth tied a season high.

Ending an 0-for-18 second-half tailspin, Hunter unloaded a solo homer in the third for a two-run lead that didn't hold up.

"I felt more like myself today," Hunter said. "I hit an off-speed pitch to left-center for the homer and a fastball right at the second baseman [in the sixth]. That was actually my best swing of the night."

David Murphy launched a two-run homer to tie it at 3 in the fourth after robbing Trumbo of extra bases with a brilliant catch in right-center to close out the first.

Murphy's play took the Angels out of a potentially big inning after Kendrick had provided the lead. Wells, who'd singled, and Kendrick appeared certain to score if Trumbo's drive to the base of the wall had fallen.

Murphy also singled and scored during the fifth-inning uprising that brought 10 Rangers to the plate.

The Rangers seized a first-inning lead on Hamilton's two-out single and Beltre's RBI double. With a single in the fifth, Beltre is now 23-for-49 in his career against Haren.

"They're a good team," Kendrick said. "Obviously, they won the division last year. This gives us confidence as a team. When guys go out and have good at-bats, we can do that a lot -- all the time." Comments