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April 5, 2013 at 11:00 PM   |   Comments

Rangers have rude greeting for Hamilton

ARLINGTON, Texas, April 5 (UPI) -- Ian Kinsler broke a tie with an eighth-inning RBI single Friday that gave the Texas Rangers a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

Craig Gentry led off the Texas eighth with a single and stole second. After an out, Kinsler hit an 0-2 pitch off Scott Downs (0-2) to right, allowing Gentry to score.

Texas starter Derek Holland allowed six hits and two runs, while walking one and striking out five, over seven innings but left the game with the score tied 2-2. Tanner Schepper (1-0) came on and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth in getting the win while Joe Nathan's ninth-inning appearance earned him his first save.

A.J. Pierzynski tripled into the right-field corner, driving in Nelson Cruz in the Texas second inning for the game's first run. Chris Iannetta hit his second home run of the second leading off the third and scored on a Mike Trout double, putting the Angels up 2-1.

Adrian Beltran had his first home run in the season in the seventh inning to tie the score at 2-2.

The game marked the return to Arlington for former AL MVP Josh Hamilton, who signed with the Angels as a free agent this year and then declared north Texas was not a strong baseball area.

He was booed by the sellout crowd each time he came to the plate and wound up going 0-for-4.


Williams sisters to meet in semifinals

CHARLESTON, S.C., April 5 (UPI) -- Sisters Serena and Venus Williams set up their first competitive match in five years Friday by reaching the semifinals of the Family Circle Cup.

Both sisters had to win twice Friday to earn their semifinal berths, a task made necessary by day-long rains that wiped out half of the schedule Thursday.

The top-seeded Serena Williams defeated Mallory Burdette 6-4, 6-2 and then breezed past sixth-seeded Lucie Safarova 6-4, 6-1.

Venus Williams, seeded fifth in this event, took out Varvara Lepchenko 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 and then defeated Madison Keys 6-4, 6-4.

The sisters will be meeting for the 24th time with Serena holding a 13-10 advantage. They have not met, however, since the 2008 Tour Championship -- an event that saw Serena defeat Venus twice.

Twelve of their career matches have come in Grand Slam tournaments.

The other semifinal will send Jelena Jankovic against Stefanie Voegele, both of whom had to play just one match Friday.

Jankovic was a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Eugenie Bouchard and Voegele surprised second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.


Horschel leads Texas Open

SAN ANTONIO, April 5 (UPI) -- Billy Horschel, whose second-place finish last week highlighted what has been a solid start this season, took the second-round lead Friday at the Texas Open.

Horschel, who had to survive the qualifying tournament late last year to retain his playing privileges on the PGA Tour, has made the cut in all 10 of his starts in 2013.

He finished tied for second behind winner D.A. Points last week at the Houston Open and has put himself in position to win his first tournament on the circuit.

Horschel shot his second straight 4-under-par 68 at the TPC-San Antonio Oaks Course and his 136 total gave him a two-stroke lead over Daniel Summerhays, Charley Hoffman and Stephen Bowditch.

Among those tied for fifth at 139 was Rory McIlroy, the world's second-ranked player who shot a 5-under 67 that included two bogeys.

Jim Furyk and Retief Goosen, who have won three U.S. Open titles between them, were also at 139.

There were 28 players within five shots of the lead heading into the weekend of what is the final tournament prior to the playing of the Masters. A win this week would earn Horschel an invitation to that event.


Penguins end brief skid

PITTSBURGH, April 5 (UPI) -- Jussi Jokinen scored the only shootout goal and Pittsburgh's lone goal in regulation Friday, bringing the Penguins a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers.

Pittsburgh ended a two-game skid that had followed 15 consecutive wins.

The teams battled through two scoreless periods before Jokinen put a slap shot past Henrik Lundqvist 30 seconds into the third.

Rick Nash tied it for the Rangers with 4:49 to go in regulation.

Jokinen's shootout goal came in the first round and goalie Marc-Andre Fluery was perfect for the Penguins.

Pittsburgh increased its lead over Montreal for the best record in the Eastern Conference to five points.

The Rangers, who went into the game holding down the eighth spot in the conference standings, had won two in a row.

Fluery had 34 saves and Lundqvist stopped 26 shots.

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