The Los Angeles Angels lost the opener of a four-game series to the Texas Rangers 8-4 on Monday night, but the news was even worse for the Halos. Starting pitcher Garrett Richards left the game with a right groin strain after facing just four batters, putting the Angels in a bind all game.The Angels are now five games behind the Rangers in the American League West.
Texas rallied for six runs in the fifth inning to put the game away. Ian Kinsler had four hits for the Rangers, including a single in the fifth, and scored on a two-run single by Michael Young, which gave Texas a 5-1 lead. Rich Thompson then allowed home runs to Nelson Cruz and former Angel Mike Napoli.
Russell Branyan hit a two-run pinch home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull the Angels within 8-4, but they couldn't get any closer. Torii Hunter singled to extend his hitting streak to a season-high 13 games.
Richards will undergo tests on Tuesday to determine the severity of his groin injury, but regardless of that it seems the Angels might need to make a roster move to bolster the bullpen. Joel Pineiro had his finest outing since being removed from the starting rotation, pitching three scoreless innings with three strikeouts. The Angels used four relievers to collect the final 25 outs of the game.
For more news and information on the Angels, or on Monday's game, be sure to read Halos Heaven.