Rangers Fall Short to Angels in Series Finale

Rangers Angels
(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

Angels 2, Rangers 0

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Aug 16) — The Texas Rangers saw opportunities slip through their fingers as they fell to the Los Angeles Angels, 2–0, on Wednesday. They produced several base runners in the ninth inning but weren’t able to bring them in. This loss brings the Rangers’ eight-game home winning streak to an end. Their consolation prize is a series win against the Angels. These two teams won’t face each other again until the final week of the regular season. That series will take place in Anaheim. The Rangers’ lead in the AL West has shrunk to 2.5 games as the Houston Astros beat the Miami Marlins earlier in the evening, 12–5.

After an off day on Thursday, the Rangers will host the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers for three games at Globe Life Field. First pitch of that series opener is scheduled for 7:05 pm Central on Friday. Right-hander Brandon Woodruff (2–1, 1.99 ERA) will get the start for the Brewers. Lefty Andrew Heaney (9–6, 4.17 ERA) will toe the slab for the Rangers.

Ohtani Goes Deep

The Rangers managed to keep two-way star Shohei Ohtani quiet in this series. Coming into the series finale on Wednesday, Ohtani had gone 1-for-7 against Rangers pitching. The Rangers woke the sleeping giant, however, in the top of the first. With one out in the frame, Ohtani blasted his AL-leading 42nd homer of the season. It went over the wall in center and traveled a distance of 437 feet. He trails only Matt Olson (43) of the Atlanta Braves for the major league lead in home runs. The Angels added an insurance run in the top of the ninth in the form of a solo homer to center off the bat of Matt Thaiss.

The Rangers put together a small rally in the bottom of the ninth but didn’t get enough momentum. Mitch Garver singled to left before J.P. Martinez singled to center. To get fresh legs on the basepaths, Josh H. Smith came off the bench to run for Garver. In the end, Martinez and Smith were stranded when Leody Taveras struck out swinging to end the game.

Curious Start for Gray

Rangers righty Jon Gray took his sixth loss of the season after tossing his 10th quality start. He is now 8–6 on the year with an ERA of 3.52. Gray tossed the Rangers’ 12th quality start this month, spinning seven innings of one-run ball against the Angels at Globe Life Field. His lone blemish was surrendering the first-inning solo home run to Ohtani. Gray was nearly lights out the rest of the way. His final line was 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R-ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 92 pitches/58 strikes.

It marked the second time this season that Gray has lasted at least seven innings, allowed one run, and taken the loss. The home run by Thaiss in the ninth was given up by Josh Sborz. Angels starter Reid Detmers tossed 7 1/3 no-hit innings before allowing a one-out double to left-center by Marcus Semien in the bottom of the eighth. He earned the win on Wednesday after going 0–4, 10.30 over his previous six starts. Righty Carlos Estevez notched his 26th save of the season for the Angels.

Postgame Comments

The typically even-keeled Bruce Bochy held court after the game with more of a frustrated demeanor after this latest setback. “You do have to give credit to the guy on the mound,” Bochy said. “You’re going to run into well-pitched games, but we did have an off night. We’re getting no-hit, so it’s obvious he’s got pretty good stuff out there tonight. … “It’s never fun to lose a close game like this, especially when you get really good pitching like we did tonight.”

 

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