July 9, 2009

MLB: Texas 8, LA Angels 1

Andruw Jones homered in each of his first three at bats Wednesday, powering Texas to an 8-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

Jones had two chances to become the 16th player in major league history to record four home runs in a game, but he just got under a fast ball down the middle and popped out in the sixth before striking out in the ninth.

He was trying to add his name to a list that includes Lou Gehrig, Gil Hodges and Willie Mays.

The Rangers defeated the Angels for the seventh time in nine meetings this year and moved a game ahead of Los Angeles into first place in the American League West. Texas is a season-best 11 games above .500.

Jones hit a two-run shot in the first inning and solo blasts in both the third and fifth. Texas also got homers from Taylor Teagarden in the fourth and Marlon Byrd in the fifth.

The Rangers produced five long balls even though three players with a combined 46 homers this season -- Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia -- didn't play.

Jones became the second player in as many nights to record three homers in a game. Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox had three Tuesday against Kansas City. The last player to hit four was Toronto's Carlos Delgado in 2003

Vicente Padilla (7-4) benefited from the onslaught to get the win, giving up a run on eight hits over six-plus innings. He was taken out as a precaution when struck on the hand by Howie Kendrick's lead-off single in the seventh.

Ervin Santana (1-5) was saddled with the loss, having given up five runs on seven hits in four innings.