Livan Soto drove in the tying run with a double and scored the winning run with an acrobatic slide, lifting the host Los Angeles Angels to a 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night in Anaheim, Calif.
It was the Angels’ sixth win in a row, matching their longest of the season.
The Angels trailed 2-1 when David Fletcher led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and went to second when Kurt Suzuki was hit by a pitch.
Soto, who went 3-for-3 in the game, followed with a drive to the right-center field gap off Rangers reliever Jonathan Hernandez (2-3), scoring Fletcher easily.
Suzuki, trying to score from first, was thrown out at the plate after a perfect relay throw from second baseman Marcus Semien. Suzuki was shaken up on the play, getting tagged on the back of the neck/head area by Rangers catcher Jonah Heim. Soto took third on the throw home.
With the infield playing in, Matt Thaiss hit a grounder to Semien, who threw home. The throw arrived in time, but Soto slid wide of the plate and swiped his hand across of the plate to beat the tag and give the Angels a 3-2 lead.
Angels starter Jose Suarez flirted with a no-hitter. In fact, he was perfect through six innings, retiring all 18 batters faced.
But Semien led off the seventh inning by hitting Suarez’s first pitch into left field for a single. One out later, Nathaniel Lowe hit a 2-0 slider over the fence in right field for a two-run homer and a 2-1 Texas advantage.
Suarez (8-8) managed to finish off the seventh inning, but he was done for the night having allowed the two runs on two hits. He struck out six and did not walk a batter, making 90 pitches. Zack Weiss threw a scoreless eighth and Ryan Tepera pitched the ninth for his sixth save.
The Angels took the lead in the second inning against Rangers starter Cole Ragans. Jo Adell doubled with one out, and one out later scored on a single by Suzuki.
Meanwhile, Suarez breezed through the Rangers lineup. He needed 16 pitches to get through the first inning, striking out two. He needed just 10 pitches to finish off the second.
Suzuki’s RBI single was all that Ragans allowed, giving up the one run on four hits and one walk through five innings.