The Texas Rangers, winners of 12 straight after Tuesday night’s 7-0 clubbing of the Angels, should feel pretty confident in their pursuit of a second AL West division championship. Especially if the only team chasing them plays and hits as poorly as tonight’s Halo team. Bad base running, bad situational hitting, and bad relief pitching were the “highlights” for the Angels in this first game of a 3-game set.
Alexi Orgando (10-3) held the Angels scoreless for 8 innings while scattering 4 hits, striking out 5 and walking three. Orgando allowed just one runner to get as far as third, but Mark Trumbo was stranded there when Bobby Abreu ended the 3rd inning threat with an easy ground out to first.
The only other Angel scoring threat came in the 5th when Erick Aybar doubled to deep left-center, but was easily thrown out when he tried to turn his lead-off hit into a triple. Trumbo promptly followed Aybars base running gaff with his own double that would have easily scored the Halo shortstop.
Tyler Chatwood (5-6) gave up an early lead when he allowed back-to-back, two-out doubles to Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre in the first inning. Once again, Chatwood lacked command of his pitches as he walked four batters in 5 innings. In addition to the 4 walks, he allowed 7 hits and 3 runs in his third straight loss.
To add to the night’s misery, rookie reliever Michael Kohn was sacrificed by the Angels over the final inning and a third. Kohn relieved Rich Thompson in the 8th after Thompson had retired 8 straight Ranger hitters. After walking the first batter he faced, Endy Chavez belted a 2-run home run to right, putting the Rangers up by five. In the ninth, Kohn gave up back-to-back home runs to Hamilton and Beltre to lead-off the inning before getting the final three Texas hitters without any further damage.
The loss drops the Angels to 5 games behind Texas in the AL West.