Bench-clearing melee mars Rangers' victory vs. Angels

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Bad feelings had been brewing between

the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers for 10 days.

A volatile series finally turned violent when Adam Kennedy

charged the mound after being hit by a pitch from Texas' Scott

Feldman, triggering a bench-clearing brawl in the Rangers' 9-3

victory over the Angels.

The melee came a night after Rangers starter Vicente Padilla was

ejected for hitting two Angels with pitches and nearly plunking a


Padilla needs to grow up

This is what this comes down to: On Tuesday night, Vicente Padilla stunk, and rather than just take some responsibility and do his job and try to make better pitches, Padilla started firing fastballs at the hitters. Then last night, with the Angels getting blown out, they felt the need to answer back, to retaliate, and that's how Adam Kennedy wound up going after Scott Feldman with two outs in the ninth inning.

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And Kennedy was hit an inning after the Angels had two pitchers

and manager Mike Scioscia ejected because two Rangers' hitters were


Feldman threw his glove down as Kennedy charged the mound and

Feldman hit Kennedy in the armpit with a punch.

Rangers third baseman Mark DeRosa sprinted toward the mound and

tackled Kennedy as both benches and bullpens emptied. Angels

right-hander John Lackey ran from the dugout and had to be

restrained from going after Texas players.

The umpires restored order about four minutes later.

Kennedy said he was left with no choice but to go after Feldman.

"All the points had been made," Kennedy said. "You have a

choice to go or not go and I decided to go. You wish it didn't have

to happen that way. It's unfortunate because there'll be fines and


Rangers manager Buck Showalter was tossed out for a second

straight game. Kennedy and Feldman were also ejected.

Feldman claimed the pitch got away from him.

"With the situation that occurred earlier, I can see why I got

tossed for that," Feldman said. "I was just trying to go inside.

... I wasn't shocked. I looked up and (Kennedy) was coming at me."

In the bottom of the eighth, Angels reliever Kevin Gregg threw

well behind Ian Kinsler, and plate umpire Sam Holbrook warned both

dugouts. Gregg and Scioscia were ejected when the next batter,

Michael Young, was hit in the back with a pitch.

Gregg, working his fifth inning of the night, said he did not

mean to hit Young.

"I was 90 pitches deep on a bum knee," Gregg said. "I was

amped up and I just threw one that got away from me."

"There was no intent," said Scioscia, who closed the clubhouse

for 25 minutes after the game to calm his team and get his players

refocused on the AL West race.

Brendan Donnelly relieved and he was thrown out after four

pitches when he plunked Freddy Guzman. Bench coach Ron Roenicke,

who took over for Scioscia, also was ejected.

"Baseball is baseball," Donnelly said. "Things have a way of

working themselves out."

Young figured the brawl would result in multiple suspensions.

"I hope they go easy on us," Young said. "But I doubt they


Elias Says ...

Joe Saunders allowed eight runs in 2 2/3 innings and took the loss in the Rangers' 9-3 victory over the Angels. That snapped the Angels' all-time record streak of 13 consecutive wins by rookies before their first loss. Saunders has four wins, Jered Weaver has eight, and Dustin Moseley has one.

• For more Elias Says, click here.

The Angels-Rangers feud started on Aug. 6 when Adam Eaton was

thrown out of a game for throwing at Juan Rivera.

Eaton (3-2) was back on the mound Wednesday night, but didn't

come close to hitting anyone, during seven strong innings.

Rookie Nelson Cruz hit his first grand slam in an eight-run

third inning for the Rangers to back Eaton.

Cruz, acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers along with Carlos Lee

in a six-player trade on July 28, hit the Rangers' eighth grand

slam of the season off Gregg. Cruz's long fly just cleared the

left-field wall and stretched the lead to 9-0.

"I was real excited to help the team win," Cruz said. "I was

glad I got the opportunity. This should get me confident."

Kinsler also homered in the third for the Rangers, who've won

six of seven.

Angels rookie left-hander Joe Saunders (4-1) was beaten for the

first time in his seventh major league start. He had won all four

of his starts this season with a 1.67 ERA since being called up

from Triple-A Salt Lake on Aug. 1.

He allowed eight runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings against

Texas. He walked five and struck out one.

Eaton (3-2) allowed two runs and four hits in his fifth start

since returning from a torn tendon in his right middle finger that

landed him on the disabled list on April 1. He struck out five and

walked two on a 101-degree night.

Eaton retired 14 straight until a sixth-inning walk to Chone

Figgins. Maicer Izturis, who had three RBI, followed with a homer

to end Eaton's shutout bid.

Game notes
The Rangers matched the 1999 team record for grand slams in

a season. ... The eight-run third equaled Texas' biggest inning of

the season. ... Jose Molina of the Angels had his career-best

12-game hitting streak snapped. ... The Rangers sent 12 to the

plate in the third. ... Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels went

2-for-4 and has hit safely in 24 straight road games against the

Rangers, every game he's played at Ameriquest Field.