ARLINGTON -- Jered Weaver, a man with a no-hitter on his resume, and Yu Darvish, who was one out away from a perfect game in his most recent outing, brought all the trappings of a classic confrontation to the mound on Sunday night at Rangers Ballpark.
Those notions were scattered quickly to the North Texas winds with a total of five runs crossing the plate in the first inning, three by the Rangers on a pair of home runs. Neither Weaver nor Darvish managed to get an out in the sixth inning, both departing with ailments: Darvish with a blister on his right ring finger, Weaver with a strained left elbow -- and a huge sigh of relief after X-rays turned up negative.
The Rangers, with Ian Kinsler's three-homer homer against former Texas reliever Mark Lowe breaking it open after Weaver's exit, took the game, 7-3, and the weekend series, two games to one, in front of 42,034 fans.
Kinsler's rare opposite-field blast on a full count came after Lowe had walked No. 9 hitter Leonys Martin on a full count. Kinsler, who had two homers in the series and has three for the season, hadn't gone deep to right since Aug. 15, 2009 - a stretch of 66 homers to left and center.
When Mitch Moreland's sizzling line drive sailed over a ducking Weaver into center field, the Angels' ace went down hard on the mound. He came up holding his left elbow and walked to the dugout. Considering the possible alternatives, Weaver had to feel extremely lucky.
The Angels began the game with the bases loaded and nobody out, Darvish struggling with the strike zone after his 14-strikeout masterpiece against the Astros. When Josh Hamilton, eliciting the now-familiar boos from his former fans, hit into a double play, Mike Trout scored. That left it up to Mark Trumbo to deliver with two outs, and he did, lashing an RBI single to left to cash in Erick Aybar, who'd been hit by a pitch after Trout's walk.
The Rangers responded quickly and with force. Kinsler walked on five pitches leading off and strolled home on Lance Berkman's first home run with Texas, a drive to right on an 0-1 curveball. Two hitters later, David Murphy unloaded to right center on a fastball for his first blast of the season, giving Darvish the lead.
The Angels let scoring opportunities get away in the second and third innings, Darvish digging deep under duress. He struck out Trout and Aybar to leave two men stranded in the second and left Albert Pujols and Hamilton at third and second with none out by striking out Trumbo and Howard Kendrick and retiring Alberto Callaspo on a fly ball.
Weaver also worked out of trouble in the second and third before Kinsler's two-out single in the fourth cashed in Geovany Soto, who'd doubled, for a two-run lead. The Angels shaved it in half when Trumbo lashed a two-out double to left in the fifth following Hamilton's single.
Hamilton, finally getting into a rhythm after going 0-for-10 amid the booing and chanting to start the series, had three hits.
Darvish moved to 2-0, while Weaver, who had a no-decision in his debut in Cincinnati, dropped to 0-1.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.