The Rangers let an early four-run slip away as Mike Trout’s three-run homer capped the Angels 9-5 win Monday night at Angels Stadium.
The Rangers walked three, hit two batters, threw a wild pitch and made a fielding error.
“When you give up those freebies they come back to haunt you,” Manager Jeff Banister said. “We have to find a way to eliminate those. We’ve got to be able to handle the baseball when we need to. I felt like we fought back after we lost the lead but from that point on we couldn’t keep it right there.”
Pitching: A.J. Griffin retired the first nine batters but walked the first two in the fourth. Mike Trout’s infield single to third loaded the bases and Albert Pujols walked to drive in the Angels’ first run. A sacrifice fly to left pulled the Angels to within 4-2. A 6-4-3 double play got Griffin out of the inning. Ji-Man Choi led off the fifth with a homer to make it 4-3. Griffin induced a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
“We established the inside corner earlier in the game. I threw probably 40 pitches after three innings and threw 20-plus fastballs inside in that time,” said Griffin of the fourth inning. “We were trying to keep them off balance. It’s frustrating … I guess that’s the word of the day.”
In the sixth, the first two batters reached on a single and a hit by pitch before Tony Barnette replaced Griffin. Barnette struck out Pujols but a run scored on a fielding error by Rougned Odor. Another run scored on a single to right-center by Johnny Giavotella to give the Angels a 5-4 lead.
Keone Kela started the seventh and was quickly in trouble after hitting the first batter and giving up a bloop double down the right-field line. He struck out Escobar before Cole Calhoun drove in a run with a grounder to second. Rougned Odor made a nice diving stop and throw home but catcher Bobby Wilson couldn’t hold onto the throw. The next batter, Mike Trout, put the Angels up 9-5 with a three-run homer.
Hitting: The Rangers scored three in the first on a two-run homer by Odor and a solo homer by Adrian Beltre against Angels’ starter Nick Tropeano. Mitch Moreland homered to start the second to make it 4-0.
Jhoulys Chacin started the third for Tropeano and held the Rangers scoreless on three hits for four innings. Texas tied it at 5-5 with a run in the seventh after Nomar Mazara’s one-out double was followed by a run-scoring double to the left-field corner by Bobby Wilson. Jurickson Profar walked to put two on with one out but Ian Desmond popped out and Odor struck out to end the inning.
Notable: Texas hit consecutive homers in the first for the fourth time this season and first since Mazara and Beltre did it May 17 in Oakland ... Moreland’s homer in the second, his 12th, was the 100th of his career ... Beltre tied Miguel Cabrera and Billy Williams for 48th all-time with his 426th homer.
“It’s pretty cool,” Moreland said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to play long enough to do that, I guess. It’s not a huge milestone because it’s a big list but it’s definitely something I’ll remember. I’ll continue to work and hopefully hit a few more.”