Had the Angels and Rangers been playing as well as they were two months ago, they might have attracted a sellout crowd to Anaheim Stadium Wednesday night.
Since peaking in early July, both teams have long fallen out of contention. But they played Wednesday's game before 20,663 as if it might bring them a pennant, and not merely bring them a day closer to the end of the season.
Rafael Palmeiro's two-out, two-run double down the right-field line off Jeff Robinson (0-3) negated a series of Angel comebacks and gave Texas an 11-9 victory in 12 innings that took more than four hours to complete.
John Russell and Julio Franco had walked before Palmeiro's double.
The Angels had sent the game into extra innings by tying it, 9-9, in the ninth on Dick Schofield's broken-bat single with two out.
The loss dropped the Angels one game below .500 and back into last place in the American League West.
Angel reliever Bryan Harvey gave up three runs in the ninth, only his fourth blown save in 42 chances this season, but the Angels rescued him with two runs in the bottom of the ninth. The first run scored with the aid of two throwing errors on one play: Dave Gallagher's single to the right side was played by first baseman Palmeiro, whose toss to the pitcher went astray. Catcher Mike Stanley backed up the play, but his throw to third to get lead runner Max Venable sailed into left field, allowing Venable to score. Gallagher took second on the play, tagged and took third on pinch-hitter Donnie Hill's fly to right and scored on Schofield's single, the shortstop's second hit and second RBI of the game.
The Angels used eight pitchers, and Texas deployed seven. The Rangers also used a club-record 25 players.
Things didn't begin well for Scott Lewis, who opened the season as the Angels' fifth starter but was demoted to Edmonton after compiling a 1-5 record. Lewis struggled against the Rangers' potent lineup. He left in the fourth inning and was charged with five runs, escaping a defeat only because the Angels produced two runs in the fifth and held off a Ranger rally in the sixth.
A run-scoring single by Ruben Sierra and a two-run double by Kevin Reimer in the first got Texas off to a fast start, but the Angels narrowed that gap in the bottom of the inning on a two-out double by Gary Gaetti and Dave Winfield's 25th home run of the season, the 403rd of his career. The homer gave Winfield his first multiple-RBI game since Aug. 14.
It was also an impressive game for Franco, who was four for six, raising his league-leading average to .344.