AP

Ohtani homers early, Angels rally late to beat Rangers 9-7

Jul 30, 2022, 9:29 AM | Updated: Jul 31, 2022, 1:04 pm

Los Angeles Angels' Luis Rengifo celebrates his two-run double during the eighth inning of the team...

Los Angeles Angels' Luis Rengifo celebrates his two-run double during the eighth inning of the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Saturday, July 30, 2022, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — With Mike Trout sidelined by back issues, the Los Angeles Angels have received a jolt of offense from an unlikely source.

Luis Rengifo hit a go-ahead, two-run double as the Angels rallied for five runs in the eighth inning to beat the Texas Rangers 9-7 on Saturday night.

Rengifo has a hit in 27 of his last 30 games and is batting .351 during that span. His .337 average in July is 13th in the American League among players with 60 or more plate appearances.

“I feel comfortable. It’s more like go out there, do my job and stay focused every single time when I take my at-bats and help my team,” said Rengifo, who began the season at Triple-A Salt Lake before being called up on May 8. “It’s getting more experience, which helps with making adjustments and seeing results.”

Rengifo also had two stolen bases and made a couple of good defensive plays to help Los Angeles bounce back after it dropped the first two games of the series.

Shohei Ohtani hit his 22nd home run in the third inning, a three-run shot, but the Angels trailed 7-4 going into the eighth. David Fletcher, who entered in the third after Phil Gosselin was beaned, lined a two-run double to the left-field wall with one out to bring Los Angeles within 7-6.

After pinch-hitter Kurt Suzuki struck out, Ohtani was intentionally walked and Taylor Ward drew a walk from Brett Martin (0-7). Fletcher tied it at 7 when he scored on a wild pitch, and Rengifo followed with a line drive into the right-center gap to put the Angels on top.

“He chased one early and fell behind. Then grinds through it and got a pitch up and drives it in the gap,” interim manager Phil Nevin said. “That’s been a shot in the arm for us. His energy and work ethic, guys are feeding off that. Our offense has been a little better and he’s a big part of that.”

Max Stassi added two hits and an RBI for the Angels. Touki Toussaint (1-0), who came on for starter Chase Silseth in the fifth, got the win in his Halos debut after allowing two runs in four innings.

Raisel Iglesias gave up a one-out single to Marcus Semien and walked Jonah Heim before getting Nathaniel Lowe to ground out and retiring Adolis García on a long fly to center for his 16th save and first since June 29.

Semien and Meibrys Viloria homered for the Rangers.

Semien hit a three-run shot to center off Silseth (1-4) in the fourth to give Texas a 5-3 lead. Viloria had a two-run drive to center on a sinker by Toussaint that stayed up in the strike zone to make it 7-4.

“We just didn’t execute at the end. We had them kind of where we wanted and had it lined up,” manager Chris Woodward said. “We had seven on the board pretty early. I would have loved to add on in the middle innings, but it was a pretty good night offensively.”

Silseth, recalled from Double-A Rocket City for his third stint with the Angels this season, allowed five runs and five hits with five strikeouts. All four of his walks were converted into runs by the Angels.

Texas right-hander Glenn Otto went five innings and gave up four runs on four hits with five strikeouts. The rookie is 0-5 in his last seven starts and has not won since June 4.

OHTANI’S EARLY BLAST

The Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the third on RBI singles by Lowe and García before the Angels went ahead in the home half. Gosselin was beaned on a sinker from Otto, and Andrew Velazquez had a bunt single before Ohtani drove Otto’s 88 mph changeup into the elevated bleachers in center field.

The reigning AL MVP has gone deep three times since the All-Star break. His 22 homers are tied for eighth and his 62 RBIs are tied for sixth in the AL.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: SS Corey Seager (lower right leg contusion) was out of the lineup for the second straight day. Woodward said Seager can’t put much weight on the leg. … OF Leody Taveras got the night off. He is 10 for 35 in the first nine games of Texas’ 11-game road trip.

Angels: Nevin said Gosselin was “OK” after the game. … RHP Jimmy Herget (right shoulder impingement) could be activated as soon as Sunday. He threw two scoreless innings for Double-A Rocket City on Friday.

ROSTER MOVES

The Angels also called up Toussaint from Triple-A Salt Lake after right-handers José Marte and Elvis Peguero were optioned to Salt Lake.

UP NEXT

Rangers: RHP Dane Dunning (1-6, 4.38 ERA) is the only pitcher in the majors this season with at least seven quality starts and one or fewer wins.

Angels: LHP Reid Detmers (3-3, 3.84 ERA) faces Texas for the fourth time this year. He is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA (13 earned runs allowed over 13 innings) in the previous three outings.

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Ohtani homers early, Angels rally late to beat Rangers 9-7