ANAHEIM, Calif. — Howie Kendrick hit his second home run of the game in the 11th inning and finished with four RBIs, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Kendrick, who hit a two-run shot in the sixth off Alexi Ogando and an RBI single in the first, drove a 1-1 pitch to left-center against rookie Joe Ortiz (2-1) for his third homer of the season.
Dane De La Rosa (1-0) pitched two perfect innings for his first major league win.
The Rangers tied it 4-all in the eighth with an unearned run against Scott Downs, following a couple of costly errors by the Angels – one physical and one mental.
Andrew Romaine, who replaced Brendan Harris at shortstop to start the inning, allowed Nelson Cruz's grounder to skip between his legs for an error after Adrian Beltre's leadoff single. That put runners at the corners for A.J. Pierzynski, who hit a routine grounder to first base.
Mark Trumbo saw Beltre break for the plate and immediately threw to catcher Chris Iannetta without looking the runner back to third, and Beltre alertly stayed put.
With the bases loaded, David Murphy grounded into a double play as Beltre scored the tying run. Downs minimized the damage by striking out Mitch Moreland after an intentional walk to Craig Gentry.
The Rangers had a runner at third with two outs in the ninth against Ernesto Frieri, but left fielder Mike Trout robbed Beltre of an extra-base hit with a full-out diving catch on the warning track.
The Angels had a golden opportunity to win it in the 10th with the bases loaded and one out, but Beltre turned Albert Pujols' grounder to third into a force at the plate and Josh Hamilton grounded out to second.
Jason Vargas, winless in four starts for the Angels, allowed three runs and seven hits over seven innings. The left-hander, working on six days' rest after giving up five runs in each of his previous two outings, pitched with runners on base in each of the first six innings and gave up a three-run homer by Cruz in the sixth after getting staked to a 4-0 lead.
Ogando allowed four runs – two earned – and six hits in seven-plus innings.
The Angels took the lead in the first with two-out RBI singles by Trumbo and Kendrick. It could have been worse for Ogando had it not been for a sensational catch by left fielder Jeff Baker, who raced full speed toward the corner on Hamilton's slicing drive and caught the ball as he slid across the foul line. But he bruised his left knee crashing into the short wall fronting the grandstand, and was replaced by Murphy.
Kendrick made it 4-0 in the fourth with his first home run since a solo shot against Cincinnati's Mat Latos in the second game of the season. Kendrick drove a 1-0 pitch to center field beyond a leaping Gentry, after a double to the alley by Trumbo that right fielder Cruz just missed catching on a diving attempt.
Elvis Andrus led off the Rangers' sixth with a single, Lance Berkman walked and both runners advanced on a groundout before Cruz drove Vargas' 3-2 pitch to left-center for his 23rd career homer against the Angels. It was only the second by the Rangers against a left-handed pitcher this season, along with Baker's solo shot off Seattle's Joe Saunders last Friday.
NOTES: Baker, who has played four positions this season, made his second start in left. When Murphy took over for him, Texas' batting order had three players who were a combined 4 for 51 against Vargas entering Tuesday – Murphy (1 for 19), Beltre (2 for 21) and Moreland (1 for 11). ... LHP Charlie Leesman, claimed by the Rangers on release waivers Friday from the White Sox, declined the assignment to become a free agent. He had five days to make the decision. ... The Rangers, who won Friday's series opener 7-6 on a ninth-inning homer by Pierzynski, are the only team that has yet to lose consecutive games. They will attempt to extend that distinction against Jerome Williams in Wednesday's series finale.