ANAHEIM, Calif. -- For left-hander Hector Santiago, a walk was as good as a hit, as long as the baserunners stayed away from home plate.
"I needed this one for sure, just to show I can still get guys out even if I put them on base," said Santiago, who lost his previous five decisions, including his last three starts before Sunday.
Santiago (8-9) permitted only one hit, a double by second baseman Rougned Odor in the second inning, but tied a career high with six walks before finishing with three strikeouts in the first shutout of his career.
"For the most part, I treated a walk as a hit: Forget about it and go after the next guy," Santiago said. "For some reason, I pitch better with guys on base. I've got to bear down."
Second baseman Taylor Featherston collected three hits and two RBIs in one game for the first time in his major league career. Third baseman David Freese added three hits and center fielder Mike Trout hit his first home run since Aug. 7.
"It's just huge to contribute, especially down the stretch," said Featherston, who started five of the Angels' past six games at second base with Johnny Giavotella on the disabled list. "When you're playing every day, you kind of let your instincts take over. All the hard work you put in starts to pay off."
The Angels used their fourth win in five games to move within 2 1/2 games of the Rangers for the American League's second wild-card spot and remain 5 1/2 games behind the first-place Houston Astros in the Western Division. Second-place Texas fell three games behind Houston in the divisional race.
"We've struggled on this road trip in really being able to gain some traction offensively," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "But we've been able to grind out some at-bats and get some wins when we haven't been capable, especially with runners in scoring position."
Trout gave the Angels a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when he broke a 27-game drought without a home run, the longest such stretch of his career.
Trout propelled a fastball from right-hander Colby Lewis just over the yellow line on top of the right-field fence for his 34th homer of the season.
The Rangers had a chance to move ahead in the top of the second after putting runners in scoring position with one out against Santiago. First baseman Mike Napoli walked, then went to third base one out later on Odor's double to right-center field. But catcher Chris Gimenez lined into a double play to end the threat.
Gimenez hit a line drive to Santiago, who threw to Featherston at second base to retire Odor. That double play was the second Santiago generated in two innings.
"That's a tough blow for us," Banister said. "It was a terrific play by the pitcher."
Los Angeles responded in the bottom of the second by combining three hits, two walks, a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch into three runs and a 4-0 advantage. Shortstop Erick Aybar began the inning with a walk, moved to third on Freese's double and came home on a wild pitch that sent Freese to third.
After catcher Carlos Perez walked, Featherston singled to left to bring Freese home. Featherston entered the game with a .132 average, the lowest among major league position players. Perez moved to third when right fielder Kole Calhoun's single loaded the bases and scored on Trout's sacrifice fly.
Lewis sabotaged himself in the fourth as the Angels added an unearned run. Perez hit a lead-off single, took second on Lewis's errant pickoff throw and moved to third on Featherston's unusual infield hit. Instead of fielding Featherston's weak ground ball, Lewis used his glove to tap it to Napoli. But the ball dribbled toward first base, and Featherston beat the play.
"He tried to make a play," Banister said of Lewis. "If he picks it up with his hand, he has no play there."
Then with Calhoun at bat, Featherston and Perez executed a double steal. Featherston allowed himself to be tagged out in a rundown after Calhoun struck out, allowing Perez to score on a fielder's choice.
The Angels chased Lewis in the sixth with two more runs. Featherston had a run-scoring double and designated hitter Albert Pujols added a sacrifice fly.
Lewis (14-8) suffered his third consecutive loss. In five-plus innings, the right-hander allowed six earned runs, 10 hits, three walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch while collecting five strikeouts.
NOTES: Texas recalled RHP Tanner Scheppers from Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday. Scheppers will take RHP Keone Kela's place in the Rangers' bullpen. Kela did not pitch Sunday because of a sore right elbow. ... Rangers CF Drew Stubbs made his first start for the club Sunday. Stubbs signed with Texas on Aug. 24, two days after the Colorado Rockies released him. ... Los Angeles CF Mike Trout became the second player in major league history to record at least 25 home runs, five triples and 10 stolen bases per season in four successive seasons. Hall of Famer Willie Mays did it six straight years from 1955 to 1960. Trout accomplished that feat when he hit his fifth triple of the season Saturday night. ... Angels RHP Matt Shoemaker will miss his start Monday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers because of a strained right forearm. RHP Nick Tropeano will replace Shoemaker. ... Angels DH Albert Pujols likely will not play first base for the rest of the season because pressure on a sore right toe has aggravated his surgically repaired right knee.