ARLINGTON, Texas — Despite mounting injuries and adversity, the Texas Rangers are still clinging to their wild-card hopes.
Hours after getting confirmation that star third baseman Adrian Beltre was likely done for the season with a strained left hamstring, the Rangers outlasted the Los Angeles Angels 10-9 in a back-and-forth game that lasted more than 4 1/2 hours.
“Probably the best character win we’ve had all year. That’s how you sum it up,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
“Typically when you give the lead up a couple of times, you don’t win games like that. We had a lot of different players play big in this game tonight from the pitching staff to the guys in the batter’s box. It’s just everybody up and down played a part in this win,” he said.
Carlos Gomez scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on a wild pitch in a matchup that took 4 hours, 33 minutes, setting franchise records for both teams as the longest nine-inning game in club history.
The Rangers stopped the Angels’ three-game winning streak and pulled to within three games of the Twins for the second wild-card spot. Los Angeles is 1 1/2 games behind Minnesota.
The Angels loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth before Alex Claudio (4-1) retired Eric Young Jr. on a grounder. Young had entered in the eighth as a pinch runner for Albert Pujols, who had four hits and drove in four runs.
Pujols now has 1,904 RBIs and moved past Willie Mays into ninth place on the career list.
“That’s what it’s going to take. Albert had another great night,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s going to be huge, and it’s good for him to start swinging the bat at this time.”
Cam Bedrosian (4-4) threw the wild pitch that let Gomez score.
“Cam gets the first two outs, then just lost his release,” Scioscia said. “Stuff was coming out of his hand really hot. The first two hitters he looked really sharp, and then he just lost it.”
Brandon Phillips and Justin Upton made their Angels debuts a day after being acquired in trade. Upton doubled, singled and scored a run, and also made an error in left field. Phillips had a hit and scored.
It was 9-all when Gomez walked in the eighth, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. He scored when Bedrosian’s pitch in the dirt to Mike Napoli skipped away from Maldonado.
“I took a good lead there and I knew the pitcher had a lot of confidence in the guy behind the plate,” Gomez said.
Gomez and Shin-Soo Choo homered in the sixth as Texas took a 9-4 lead.
Rangers starter Cole Hamels allowed five hits and four runs in five innings.
Ten percent of the revenue from ticket sales, concessions and merchandise during this series will be donated to relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
The Rangers wore shirts during batting practice with the words “No matter where we ball, Texas stands tall,” with the Rangers and Astros logos underneath. The shirts will be on sale to the public later this week with proceeds going to hurricane relief.
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards is close to returning from a biceps injury and could be activated this weekend.
Rangers: RHP Keone Kela (shoulder) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session and is scheduled to throw another bullpen next week.
Angels: RHP Ricky Nolasco is making his fourth start and looking for his first win against the Rangers.
Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin is making his 14th start and working on extended five days of rest after a 6-5 loss to Oakland on Aug. 27.