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LAA@TEX: Murphy mashes a two-run homer in the fifth

ARLINGTON -- On Saturday, there was only one pitch that Rangers starter C.J. Wilson had consistency with in the Rangers' 8-4 loss against the Angels in front of a sold-out crowd at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

"The home-run ball was working," Wilson said.

"I gave up a home run on a changeup, a slider, a fastball and a sinker. It was a smorgasbord of bad home-run pitches tonight."

Wilson, who had not given up a home run in August heading into the start, gave up four on Saturday, setting a new career-high for home runs in an outing by doubling his previous high of two.

"C.J. just wasn't getting the ball down," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It was a tough night for him tonight as far as location goes. He usually does his work in the bottom of the strike zone. He doesn't usually do his work in the top part. Tonight, he got some balls up and they didn't miss it."

Mike Trout and Bobby Wilson hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning to stretch the Angels' lead to 4-0, after a Vernon Wells home run and a Torii Hunter single drove in the first two runs for the Halos.

It was just the second time in Wilson's career that a team hit back-to-back home runs off him. Peter Bourjos also connected off of Wilson leading off the fifth.

"You got to look forward, you don't look back," Wilson said. "It's one game; it's not a big deal. You don't worry about it. I'd had a couple good starts in a row, so I'm just going to worry about my next start in a couple days."

The Angels earned the win in the second game of this three-game series between the two top teams in the American League West, which cut Texas' lead down to two games, with one more game on Sunday and four head-to-head games remaining.

"It makes tomorrow important because we want to win the series," Washington said. "They did what they had to do in this one, we did what we had to do yesterday, and now it comes down to tomorrow. We'll show up and we'll be ready to play."

It was announced before the game that Wilson was the only Rangers starter that would pitch every fifth day for the rest of the season. He pointed to his counterpart, Ervin Santana, who pitched successfully on three days' rest to earn the win, to prove that he did not need any extra rest.

"I'd rather throw on five days," Wilson said. "I'd rather be on routine than well-rested, which I don't really believe in. The ultimate thing is, like you saw from Santana tonight, it doesn't really matter how much rest you get. If you hit your spots, that's what you need to focus on. That's not a strength thing, that's a mechanics thing."

Even with Wilson's home runs, it looked like the Rangers had a chance to rally back, but Koji Uehara gave up two runs in the seventh, including a homer to Howard Kendrick, to bring the score to 8-4. It was the third time in the last four outings that he surrendered at least one run.

"He's a guy that we're depending on to give him the ball," Washington said. "Tonight, he got one up to Kendrick and he didn't miss it. It will get better."

The Rangers loaded the bases in the ninth off Angels closer Jordan Walden, who struggled with his control. Angels manager Mike Scioscia brought in Hisanori Takahashi to face David Murphy, who hit a two-run shot in the fifth, with the bases loaded and one out. After falling behind, 2-0, to Murphy, Takahashi induced the game-ending double play to seal the game for the Angels and earn his second save of the season.

"That was a matchup move," Scioscia said of his decision to summon Takahashi against the left-handed Murphy. "Murphy's a guy who, if you make a mistake, can tie the game. We went with Hisanori, and he threw a good fastball in a good zone after falling behind 2-0."

Rangers catcher Mike Napoli was hit in the hand by a 95 mph fastball from Santana in the sixth. He appeared to be in plenty of pain, but after a visit from team trainer Jamie Reed, he stayed in the game.

"He's fine," Washington said. "He's got a bruise there, but he'll be fine." Comments