From AP REPORTS
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Casey Kotchman hit an RBI single in the ninth inning to give the Los Angeles Angels a 2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
Gary Matthews Jr., the former Ranger who signed a five-year, $50 million contract with the Angels, legged out a double to left-center that skipped past shortstop Michael Young. Ron Mahay relieved Joaquin Benoit (3-3), and Matthews advanced on Garret Anderson's groundout before Kotchman grounded a 3-2 pitch through the right side to end it.
Francisco Rodriguez (3-2), fresh off a save in Tuesday's All-Star game, pitched a hitless ninth for the win.
Texas first baseman Mark Teixeira, activated from the disabled list after missing five weeks with a strained right quadriceps muscle, went 1-for-3 with a ground-rule double.
Kenny Lofton doubled with one out in the Texas eighth and advanced on Young's groundout. Kelvim Escobar intentionally walked Teixeira with Rangers RBI leader Sammy Sosa on deck, only the 14th free pass this season for the Rangers _ the fewest in the majors. But Sosa flied out on a 2-0 pitch.
The Angels didn't get their first hit against Kevin Millwood until Orlando Cabrera singled with one out in the fourth. Vladimir Guerrero, who came in with a .423 career average against the Rangers, followed with a single off Millwood's right leg and Matthews drove the next pitch to right field for an RBI single that opened the scoring.
Gerald Laird led off the Rangers' fifth with a double to center and got to second easily despite stumbling and falling as he rounded first. Jerry Hairston advanced Laird with the Rangers' AL-leading 31st sacrifice bunt, and No. 9 hitter Ramon Vazquez drove him in with a single that tied the score.
Vazquez was doubled off second base to end the fifth after Guerrero charged Young's sinking liner and caught it at his shoetops. But the Rangers' third baseman made up for his baserunning mistake in the sixth, robbing Anderson of a tiebreaking RBI single with a diving backhanded stop toward the line and running to the bag for the force on Guerrero.
Escobar pitched eight innings, allowing a run and six hits while striking out six. The right-hander has pitched at least seven innings in 11 of his last 14 starts, and has allowed fewer than three runs in nine of those 11 games.
Millwood allowed a run and five hits over seven innings in his 300th career start. He struck out seven and walked three.