ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – The Texas Rangers’ hitters didn’t know where the ball was going during the six innings Hector Santiago was on the mound for the Los Angeles Angels, and they managed only one hit despite drawing six walks.
None of those baserunners scored, and the Rangers lost the rubber game of the series 7-0 on Sunday.
“I felt like the approach against him was solid and it did translate into good at-bats,” manager Jeff Banister said. “I mean, when you’re in the batter’s box and a guy is off the plate a lot and then executes a quality pitch here and there — which you’re not expecting after he’s been all over the place — that makes it tough on a hitter. Our guys dug in early, drew some walks, and barreled the ball a couple of times, but not enough.”
A one-out double in the second inning by Rougned Odor was the Rangers’ only hit against Santiago. The left-hander bailed himself out with inning-ending double plays in each of the first two frames — the second of which he started by snaring a line drive by Chris Gimenez and doubling off Odor at second base with two men in scoring position.
Shin-Soo Choo’s infield single in the eighth against Mike Morin was the only other hit by the Rangers, who were shut out for the ninth time. It was the 12th shutout by the Angels’ staff.
“We’ve struggled this road trip and haven’t been able to gain some traction, offensively,” Banister said. “But this is an offense that has been formidable for us. And I do know that when it comes, it’ll come in bunches for us.”
Santiago (8-9) posted his first victory in seven weeks. He was 0-5 with a 6.46 ERA in his previous eight starts since beating Boston 11-1 on July 20. Last Monday at Oakland, he gave up five runs over 2 2-3 innings in the shortest of his 27 starts this year.
But in four starts against the Rangers this season, Santiago is 3-0 with a 1.48 ERA — including a 13-0 win on July 4 at Arlington in which he held the Rangers to three hits over seven innings.
Colby Lewis (14-8) failed for the third time to establish a new career high for wins, allowing seven runs — six earned — and 10 hits in five-plus innings. The right-hander is 1-3 with an 8.31 ERA in four starts against the Angels this season.
Lewis surrendered a home run to his second batter, reigning AL MVP Mike Trout, who ended a career-worst homer drought of 27 games and 95 at-bats since his solo shot off Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman on Aug. 7 at the “Big A.” It was Trout’s 34th this season, two fewer than last year’s career-high total.
“I thought I made a good pitch to Trout, a guy who hadn’t hit a home run in a month,” Lewis said. “It was a fastball down and away. That’s my strength. But he hit it out.”
Trout went the other way with an 0-1 pitch, barely clearing the yellow line atop the 18-foot wall in right field.
“Is it a weight off your shoulders, because people kind of expect you to hit some home runs,” Trout said. “But I can’t think about that. Obviously, I’m not trying to do it — because once you try to hit homers, you’re going to get in trouble.”
Lewis failed to retire any of his first five batters in the second as the Angels added three more runs. Taylor Featherston chased the right-hander with an RBI double in the sixth, the Angels’ third straight hit with none out, and Albert Pujols hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly after Ross Ohlendorf’s intentional walk to Trout.
The Angels’ victory was manager Mike Scioscia’s 1,400th in the big leagues. Scioscia, who has guided them to six AL West championships and a World Series title during his 16 seasons in the job, surpassed Wilbert Robertson for 27th place on the career win list and became the 10th manager to reach 1,400 victories with one club.
Rangers: CF and leadoff hitter Delino DeShields did not play because of soreness in his torso, which was caused by a checked swing in the ninth inning of Saturday night’s 2-1 win. … RHP Tanner Scheppers, who had been sidelined by inflammation in his left knee, was reinstated from the disabled list to shore up a bullpen depleted by RHP Keone Kela’s elbow injury.
Rangers: RHP Yovani Gallardo (11-9) gets the assignment Monday afternoon in the opener of a four-game series at Seattle.
Angels: Rookie RHP Nick Tropeano (1-2) opposes major league ERA leader Zack Greinke Monday night the opener of a three-game series at the “Big A,” as the Halos try to avenge a three-game sweep by Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.
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