YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Angels Beat Rangers, 5-3, on a Record-Breaking Night

September 13, 1985|ROSS NEWHAN | Times Staff Writer

Bobby Grich broke the Angels' all-time record for home runs Thursday night. Donnie Moore broke the club's single-season record for saves.

It was all part of what has become a broken record for the hapless Texas Rangers, whose latest siege of long-play misfortune includes 8 losses in their last 10 games and a batting average of .221 in the last 7.

The Rangers, 51-88 and already eliminated in the American League West, represented a panacea of sorts for Angel pitcher Mike Witt.

Cortisone didn't completely erase the tendinitis in Witt's right shoulder, but he responded to the Rangers, pitching seven innings to earn his fifth straight win, 5-3.

In rebounding from two straight defeats by division-leading Kansas City, the Angels are now two games in back of the idle Royals.

An Anaheim Stadium crowd of only 19,926 saw the home team collect 12 hits off Dave Stewart and Dwayne Henry, rallying for two runs in the seventh and one more in the eighth after the Rangers had taken a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh on a two-run homer by rookie third baseman Steve Buechele, who was once a baseball and basketball teammate of Witt's at nearby Servite High School.

Witt, who also yielded a third-inning homer to Alan Bannister, emerged with his 13th victory against 7 defeats. He gave up six hits in seven innings.

He left with tightness in his shoulder, but the Angels said it is not serious.

Moore pitched the last two innings to gain his 26th save, breaking the club record of 25 that Dave LaRoche set in 1978. Moore reiterated that he was happy to have the record but would also like to have a contract offer from the Angels before the season ends, when he is eligible for free agency.

Grich, who is also eligible for free agency and undecided as to weather he wants to continue playing, hit his 10th homer of the season in the second. It was his 142nd as an Angel, breaking a tie with Don Baylor.

The Angel attack also included an RBI double by Ruppert Jones in the first and an RBI triple by Jones in the seventh, regaining the Angels' lead.

Stewart, 0-6 in an unhappy season, had allowed eight hits and led, 3-2, when Bob Boone opened the seventh with a double into the left-field corner.

The call went to Henry, who had a 1-1 record, a 1.80 ERA and a save. Gary Pettis bunted down the third-base line. Catcher Don Slaught fielded it in front of Buechele, looked at third, where no one was covering, then threw late to first as pinch-runner Devon White reached third.

Rod Carew, who had already singled twice, slapped a hard grounder up the middle. Second baseman Bannister made a diving stop and scoop-throw for the force on Pettis, but White scored the tying run.

There were two outs when Jones, who now has 65 RBIs, snapped the tie with his triple to right-center field. The fundamentally unsound Rangers missed the cutoff man or they might have had a play on Carew as he scored.

The Angels provided some breathing room in the eighth, when loser Henry got the first two outs, then yielded a single to Craig Gerber, who raced around on an ensuing single by pinch-hitter Daryl Sconiers. This time, the relay flew over the head of Slaught.

It was what Texas has come to expect but not what it had hoped to achieve.

The Rangers, despite their dismal season, had played the spoiler role to the hilt in taking three straight games from Kansas City two weeks ago.

They came to Anaheim with the same thing in mind.

"It's the only thing we have to shoot for," Manager Bobby Valentine said before the game.

"We're trying to play one game at a time and finish as strong as we can. . . . We have seven games left with the Angels. It's a chance for some satisfaction."

And stimulation.

"Playing in this atmosphere is a lot better than performing before 322 season-ticket holders," Valentine said, breaking into a smile.

The Angels, however, detected a lack of electricity in the wake of the Kansas City series.

"It was a very quiet night," Grich said. "The stands were quiet, the dugout was quiet. We didn't have a lot of emotion, but we showed some character. We did what we had to do when we had to do it. We have to stay on Kansas City's heels."

Said Jones: "Witt kept us in the game. That's the key. We've seen the importance of starting pitching again the last few nights. We've faced a lot of deficits recently, but our starters got us here. Now with Candy (John Candelaria) and (Don) Sutton I look for them to carry us again, along with Donnie."

Moore's work again impressed Manager Gene Mauch.

"He shows me more and more," Mauch said. "He threw two innings last night and is out there throwing 96 (m.p.h.) tonight. He's just amazing."

Angel Notes

Los Angeles Times Articles