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TEX@LAA: Rangers plate five runs in the fifth

ANAHEIM -- The Rangers had a five-run lead with 12 outs to go for both a 13-game winning streak and a six-game lead in their division. Holding a five-run lead seemed obtainable for a pitching staff that had allowed just five runs in 61 previous innings.

However, instead of moving to within one game of the club record for the longest winning streak, the Rangers achieved something less notable and more painful. They suffered their largest blown lead in a loss this season and their 12-game winning streak is over.

The Angels rallied for six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and held on for a 9-8 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium. The Rangers had an 8-3 lead going into the inning before the Angels rallied against starter Derek Holland and reliever Tommy Hunter.

"We just couldn't get out of the sixth inning," Rangers manager Ron 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."

Holland had pitched back-to-back shutouts, but that streak ended in the first inning when a couple of walks led to two runs. The Angels led, 3-1, going into the fourth before David Murphy tied it with a two-run home run off starter Dan Haren. The Rangers then knocked Haren out of the game with five runs in the fifth.

But the Holland and the Rangers couldn't hold it.

"I'm upset, but I'm not going to dwell on it," Holland said. "It's not like I was going to go out there and throw another shutout. I felt like the first inning was the big killer: too many pitches and bad command of my fastball."

A victory would have given the Rangers the longest winning streak in the Major Leagues since Oakland won 20 straight in 2002. It would also have left them one short of the club record set in 1991, when the Rangers won 14 straight. Instead the Rangers lost for the first time this season after holding a five-run lead.

"I don't care, a win is a win and a loss is a loss," designated hitter Michael Young said. "I'm not complaining about the way it went. We'll come out tomorrow and be ready to play and have the same approach as we did today. That's one of the strengths of this team. Whether we lose a tough one or not, we move on quickly."

The loss left the Rangers with a four-game lead over the Angels in the American League West.

"Those guys have been hot, and their pitching has been awesome," Angels outfielder 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."

All-Star second baseman Howard Kendrick was the Rangers' nemesis all night. He had a two-run single in the first and led off the sixth with a double. Mark Trumbo singled to center and, as Kendrick scored, went to second when center fielder Endy Chavez missed the cutoff man.

Holland did retire Bobby Wilson on a grounder to second, but Trumbo went to third. Mike Trout followed with a grounder into the left-side hole and just barely beat shortstop Elvis Andrus' throw for a run-scoring single.

"A bang-bang play," Andrus said. "I thought we might have had him."

That made it 8-5, and Erick Aybar doubled to left-center bringing home Trout. That also ended Holland's night.

"I felt fine ... I felt great, I just fell behind some hitters that inning and gave up some hits," Holland said.

Tommy Hunter, pitching for the first time since July 9, took over and got Torii Hunter on a grounder to second, but Aybar moved to third and scored on Bobby Abreu's single to right. Down one run, the Angels loaded the bases on a walk to Vernon Wells and an infield single by Alberto Callaspo. As with Trout, Callaspo barely beat Andrus' throw from the left-side hole at shortstop.

"I came in and got ground balls, they just made it through," Hunter said.

"The two that hurt us were the two infield hits," Washington said. "If we get those balls, we're off the field."

That brought up Kendrick again and this time he singled to left-center to bring home the tying and go-ahead runs. It was his third big hit of the night.

"I closed my eyes and swung," Kendrick said. "No, tonight a lot of guys just put together some good at-bats. It was huge, especially being down by so many runs. This lets us know we can still play the game the way we're capable of."

The Rangers had 12 hits but just one in the final four innings. Young doubled with two outs in the ninth off of Angels closer Jordan Walden. A wild pitch moved pinch-runner Craig Gentry to third, but Walden struck out Nelson Cruz to end the game.

Young said he tweaked his right knee slipping at second base on a two-run double in the fifth. He stayed in the game until Gentry pinch-ran for him in the ninth but said he will be ready to play Thursday afternoon. Comments