Rookies lead Rangers past Angels 5-2 to avoid 100th defeat

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Rookie Andy Ibanez’s two-run single highlighted a four-run second inning for Texas and fellow rookie A.J. Alexy won for the third time in four career starts as the Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 on Tuesday night to stave off their 100th loss for a second consecutive game.

Ibanez had three hits for the Rangers (58-99), who haven’t lost 100 games since 1973. He’s hitting .418 in his last 21 games with multiple hits in 13 of his last 20.

Max Stassi hit a two-run home run for the Angels, who have lost nine of 11.

Alexy (3-1) allowed three hits, beginning with Stassi’s second-inning homer, in five innings and threw a career-high 91 pitches. It was his first win since his record-setting first two starts, during which he allowed only two hits in 11 innings.

Three Texas relievers combined to throw three hitless innings, and Joe Barlow celebrated his 26th birthday by pitching a scoreless ninth for his 10th save in 11 opportunities.

Angels starter Packy Naughton (0-4), another rookie, gave up four runs in two innings on four hits and three walks.

Jonah Heim pulled a double into the left-field corner to score Charlie Culberson with Texas’ first run. After Ibanez’s bases-loaded single gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead, rookie Adolis Garcis drove home Isiah Kiner-Falefa on a grounder.

Ibanez tripled to left in the seventh on a sinking liner that skipped past the charging Phil Gosselin and scored on Garcia’s single to left.

Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, third in the majors with 45 homers, went 0 for 3 with a walk, his 14th in his last five games.

VERSATILE ROOKIE

Garcia, Texas’ right fielder, threw to first base in the fourth inning to double off Mayfield for his 16th outfield assist of the season, tying Boston’s Hunter Renfroe for the major league lead. He made a spectacular catch in foul territory on David Fletcher in the second inning, crashing into the wire fence. And his two RBIs gave him 88, leading all big league rookies and tying the rookie club record set by Pete Incaviglia in 1986.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Angels: Manager Joe Maddon said there’s no reason to believe RHP Jaime Barria (shoulder impingement), placed on the 10-day injured list on Sunday, should be affected going into next season.

UP NEXT

Angels rookie RHP Janson Junk (0-1, 3.75 ERA) and Rangers LHP Taylor Hearn (6-5, 4.55) will face each other for the second time this month. Junk made his big league debut in Texas’ 7-3 win on Sept. 5, allowing five runs (one earned) in 3 2/3 innings. Hearn pitched a career-high seven innings, won that Sunday and is 4-2 since earning a regular rotation slot in late August.

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The Associated Press

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