Texas Rangers

Rua’s homer, Faulkner’s dominance lone bright spots in messy loss

Rangers outfielder Ryan Rua hit his first homer of the spring in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the Angels. Rua is batting .438 with six RBIs.
Rangers outfielder Ryan Rua hit his first homer of the spring in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the Angels. Rua is batting .438 with six RBIs. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Perhaps the Texas Rangers would like to go back to San Antonio.

The Los Angeles Angels handed Texas its fourth consecutive loss in Arizona on Sunday 5-1.

The Rangers committed a spring-high five errors, including two by shortstop Jurickson Profar. The Rangers won twice in San Antonio over the weekend during split-squad action.

Pitching: Starter Nick Martinez fought through a porous defense that committed five errors, allowing three runs (two earned) over four innings. The fifth error came from Martinez, who threw a pick-off attempt at second into center field. Closer Shawn Tolleson made his second appearance and struggled with his command. He left after two outs in the sixth after a hit and three walks. Andrew Faulkner held the Angels to one hit over two scoreless innings. Tony Barnette allowed two hits but pitched a scoreless ninth.

Jeff Banister says no clear favorite has emerged yet in the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation (Video by Stefan Stevenson/Star-Telegram).

Rangers right-hander Nick Martinez has three spring starts left to win a spot in the rotation, beginning Sunday (Video by Stefan Stevenson/Star-Telegram).

Hitting: Ryan Rua homered off starter Andrew Heaney for the Rangers’ lone run. Drew Robinson also tripled to left-center with two outs in the seventh. Shin-Soo Choo, Rougned Odor, Robinson Chirinos and Ian Desmond each had singles. Pedro Ciriaco was 1 for 2 to keep his league-leading batting average at .500.

Ryan Rua was the Rangers' Opening Day left fielder in 2015, but he'll make the 2016 roster if he can play well at first base (video by Jeff Wilson).

Ryan Rua entered Friday batting .500 this spring. Here he is taking batting practice Tuesday in Arizona (video by Jeff Wilson).

Notable: Jurickson Profar made two errors (throwing, fielding) and has four this spring. ... Justin Ruggiano took over for Mitch Moreland at first base in the third inning. It was Ruggiano’s second game at the position. In the sixth, Daniel Nava lined a shot off Ruggiano in the sixth. The deflection bounced to Ciriaco at second base, who threw back to Ruggiano for the rare 3-4-3 putout. ... Faulkner has held opponents to three hits in eight scoreless innings this spring.

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

Rangers vs. Rockies

3:05 p.m. Monday, FSSW

LHP Martin Perez vs. RHP Chad Bettis