They called for a team meeting, and when the 20-minute session was over, Hunter was dead serious when he said, "You're going to see a different team tonight."
Abreu and Hunter, "big brother" figures to many of the younger players, felt the need to take an emphatic stand, stressing the need to "take these games one at a time and battle -- never give up," Abreu said. "Everyone understands we can do it. We just have to go out and make it happen.
"This team is a family. We win together and lose together. We discussed some things, what's going on. It was good. I think we accomplished some things. Now we've got to go out and win games. We need to keep it close, keep it a race."
The Angels, American League West champions three years running and five of the past six, trail the Rangers by eight games with 41 left on the schedule.
"A lot of different things can come out of a players-only meeting," manager Mike Scioscia said. "One thing is for guys to understand there's a lot of baseball left and how important it is to bring our game on the field. We have some powerful voices in our clubhouse -- Torii, Bobby, guys who have played on winning teams. I'm sure that's a message that was delivered."