There are tough losses, and there are really tough losses like the one the Angels took Thursday in Cleveland when a two-out grand slam beat them by two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning.

That gave the Angels a 2-4 record on the road trip. On the heels of a 5-1 homestand, it was not good.

“You’re going to have five of those gut-wrenching losses a year and you’re going to have five incredibly exhilarating wins a year,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said ahead of Friday’s series-opener against the Texas Rangers. “So that’s one of the five that are tough and you’ve gotta move on and hopefully start a streak.”

The Angels definitely needed a shot in the arm, and they got it. Thanks to a laborious but successful 6-inning stint by Garrett Richards, a home run by C.J. Cron, some other timely hitting and three gift runs, the Angels defeated the Rangers 7-3 before 41,637 at Angel Stadium.

The Angels scored three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.

Richards (7-2) picked up the victory. He threw 119 pitches in his six innings. But he allowed just one run on four hits. He struck out seven and walked three while often heating his fastball up to 96 miles per hour.

Southpaw Joe Saunders took the loss for the Rangers (35-38) and is now 0-3. He pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs - four earned - on 10 hits while striking out three and walking four.

The Angels (39-33) pounded out 11 hits. Cron, Collin Cowgill, Josh Hamilton and David Freese had two apiece. Besides Cron, other RBIs went to Hamilton, Erick Aybar and Freese, who had two.

Afterward, Scioscia was stoked.

“Yeah, it’s a good bounce-back game,” he said. “We had a tough game, long plane flight, came back here with good energy pre-game and played a good ballgame tonight. So that’s a good sign.”

The AL West-leading Oakland A’s also won, keeping the Angels six games back of them.

Rangers manager Ron Washington said he thought Saunders pitched just fine until the fifth inning.

“In that fifth inning he just lost his command, he said. “He couldn’t fine the strike zone.”

Saunders walked the first two batters of that inning - Mike Trout and Albert Pujols - setting the table for clutch RBI singles by Hamilton, Aybar and Freese.