Angels beat Rangers to stay No. 1 in AL West

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Angels beat Rangers to stay No. 1 in AL West

Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick homered to give the Angels an early lead, and Los Angeles held on again to beat the Texas Rangers 5-4 on Saturday night.

The Angels (72-49) are alone in first place in the AL West for the first time since 2011, but they are only two percentage points ahead of the Oakland Athletics, who lost at Atlanta on Saturday.

Los Angeles has won nine in a row over Texas, tying the series record set in 1985 and 1986.

Angels starter Matt Shoemaker (11-4) pitched three perfect innings before Choo Shin-soo led off the fourth with a home run, but by that time, the Angels led 5-0.

Huston Street worked a scoreless ninth inning for his 33rd save in 34 opportunities. It was the second straight night the Rangers rallied before losing 5-4.

Street hasn’t allowed a run in 12 games with the Angels since being acquired from San Diego in July.

“He’s just a bona fide closer,’’ Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He has created an opportunity for us to shorten the game by moving [Kevin] Jepsen up to the seventh inning, and Joe Smith up to the eighth.’’

Kole Calhoun had a single and a double for the Angels, and Erick Aybar had two singles.

Pujols hit a solo homer in the first against starter Colby Lewis (8-10). Kendrick hit another solo shot in the second.


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