The Angels won the cap-tipping contest, and the Texas Rangers won the war, ending Scot Shields' 24 2/3 -inning scoreless streak with two runs in the eighth inning Sunday and forging a 5-4, come-from-behind victory on Mark Teixeira's solo home run against Justin Speier to lead off the 11th.
Speier, who struck out the side in the seventh inning Saturday, his first appearance after sitting out 2 1/2 months because of an intestinal infection, thought he made a good full-count pitch to Teixeira, who yanked it into the right-field seats for his 13th homer.
"It was a fastball down and away ... and he put a good piece of wood on it," Speier said. "I made a good pitch, and I tip my cap to him."
Shields, who hadn't given up a run since Jeff Kent's RBI double on May 20, a span of 19 outings, said he "hit my spot" with a full-count, inside fastball to Ramon Vazquez, who smacked it into the right-field corner for a leadoff double in the eighth.
The right-hander was OK with his first-pitch, a low-and-away fastball to Teixeira, who laced it to right-center for a two-out, run-scoring double to pull the Rangers to within 4-3. The pitch to Marlon Byrd, which the Texas right fielder smoked to left-center for a run-scoring double that tied the score, 4-4, Shields wasn't too crazy about.
"I let that one get away from me," Shields said. "I was trying to go away, it came back middle in, and he put good wood on it. That was the only pitch I really made a mistake on. Sometimes you've got to tip your cap."
Manager Mike Scioscia thought Shields, who suffered his third blown save of the season, had his usual good stuff -- a fastball with good life, a breaking ball he threw to both corners -- and commended the Rangers for laying off some good pitches and squaring up some others.
"We're not going to lose too many games in that position, with Shields and Francisco [Rodriguez] lined up for the eighth and ninth inning," Scioscia said. "Today, they stepped up and won the ballgame, so you have to tip your hat to them."
There was more cap-tipping in the fifth when Angels infielder Chone Figgins stole second, his third stolen base of the game and 187th of his career, breaking Gary Pettis' franchise record of 186, set from 1982-87.
Figgins, who had three hits, including a pair of run-scoring singles, received a standing ovation. He doffed his batting helmet to the crowd and toward the Texas dugout, where Pettis, now the Rangers' first base coach, tipped his cap to Figgins.
"It was just one of those special moments, and having Gary here made it more gratifying," Figgins said. "Growing up, I watched guys like him, Vince Coleman, Ozzie Smith, Rickey Henderson and Kenny Lofton steal bases. To break one of their records is really special."
It would have been more special, Figgins said, if the Angels had won. Before Sunday, they were 48-2 this season when leading after seven innings. They are now 48-3 in such games, after Texas closer Eric Gagne retired the side in order in the bottom of the 11th for his 13th save.
Even after Shields' rocky inning, the Angels had a chance to regain the lead in the bottom of the eighth when they loaded the bases with one out, as Rangers left-hander Ron Mahay walked Gary Matthews Jr., gave up a single to Garret Anderson and walked Casey Kotchman.
But Texas Manager Ron Washington replaced Mahay with right-hander Joaquin Benoit, who ended the threat by getting pinch-hitter Maicer Izturis to pop out to third and Jeff Mathis to pop out to short.
The Angels took some solace in winning two of three from the Rangers and maintaining a three-game division lead over Seattle, which lost Sunday to Detroit.
"I'm still upset at myself for letting that game get away," Shields said. "It was a good opportunity for us to sweep them, especially with a two-run lead going into the eighth. I've got to do my job."