ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas outfielder Carlos Gomez has spent most of April trying to get his batting average over the .200 mark.
Saturday night should help in a big way.
Gomez hit for the cycle for the second time in his career, going 4-for-4 and sparking the Rangers past the Los Angeles Angels 6-3 at Globe Life Park.
In becoming just the 10th player in Texas history to hit for the cycle, Gomez raised his average from .205 to .239. Along with way, he helped spark a four-run fifth inning that helped the Rangers overcome a 2-0 deficit and gave Texas some much-needed cushion with a two-run homer in the seventh off reliever Jose Valdez that completed the cycle.
Gomez also gave his son Yandel a nice birthday present on his eighth birthday.
“It’s hard to do,” said Gomez, whose first cycle came when he was with Minnesota on May 7, 2008. “It’s exciting to do that. And you can enjoy it when you win. This month, we’ve been bouncing up and down a lot so two nights ago we had a great game and tonight we did this so I think we’re going in the right direction and hopefully everything will start from here.”
The cycle for Gomez helped make a winner of Yu Darvish (3-2), who struck out 10 and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits in six innings.
The Rangers got Darvish the run support he’d need in the bottom of the fifth inning when they scored four times off Jesse Chavez (2-4).
An RBI single from Nomar Mazara got the offense going, with Gomez tripling home Mazara to tie the game at 2. Rougned Odor then followed with his fourth homer of the season, and his first since April 7.
Darvish had to work around three walks in the sixth inning, but got Ben Revere to pop up with the bases loaded. Darvish threw 125 pitches, his most since May 9, 2014, when he threw 126.
“The situation was very similar to what I faced to what I faced when I was facing Oakland (a 4-2 loss on April 18) last time,” Darvish said. “I just wanted to get the guys out. I feel like it was a test for me.”
The Angels got to Darvish for the game’s first two runs in the fourth inning. Kole Calhoun led off the inning with a single and scored after Mike Trout ripped an RBI double to left. After moving to third on an error, Trout scored on a sacrifice fly by Albert Pujols.
The Pujols at-bat provided early fireworks as he was almost hit in the face by a Darvish pitch and then exchanged words with Texas pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez, who is on the disabled list, as he was running to first.
“Chi Chi Rodriguez (cq) was popping off like he wanted to come out of the dugout,” Pujols said. “I mean, I didn’t appreciate that. That’s why I was yelling at him. I wasn’t yelling at Yu Darvish. In that situation, I know you don’t want to try to hit. If you look, he was sitting away and the ball got away from him.”
Chavez was charged with four earned runs on eight hits in six innings.
“I thought he did a real good job early of controlling the counts and hitting the spots,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. “Then the fifth inning, after the double, he got (Delino) DeShields to pop up. They got some clutch hits and he couldn’t close it out.”
Texas had 10 hits and Los Angeles had six, with Trout’s double extending his hitting streak to 13 games as part of his 2-for-3 night.
Los Angeles got an unearned run off Texas closer Matt Bush in the ninth.