BY: Richard W. Humphrey
The Los Angeles Angels swept the Texas Rangers in a three game series to start the week. The Rangers’ offense has basically died over the last two weeks, and scored just seven runs in the series. It’s also heavily reliant on the home run. The Rangers hit five in this series, driving in six of the seven runs they scored. Texas is now a season high 34 games out of first place, and their winning percentage is actually lower since the All-Star break than it was before.
On Monday night, the Rangers opened the series by losing 5-4 in extra innings, a game that ended the Angels’ five game losing streak. Adrian Sampson was the starting pitcher, and he lasted into the sixth inning allowing four runs on five hits.
The Rangers got a solo home run from Ronald Guzman in the second inning, and a two run shot from Jurickson Profar in the sixth inning. The score stood at 4-3 with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, when Guzman doubled. Delino DeShields pinch ran and scored on Elvis Andrus’s pinch hit single to tie the game.
Chris Martin sent the game to extra innings by setting the Angels down one-two-three in the bottom of the ninth. Jose Leclerc walked a batter, but retired the other three in the 10th inning. Matt Moore took the mound in the 11th inning with the score still tied at four. He threw just three pitches. Angels’ pinch hitter Jose Breceno blasted the third one over the fence in left center field to end the game. Moore is 3-8 with the loss.
On Tuesday, Yovani Gallardo was the Rangers’ starting pitcher, and he too lasted into the sixth inning, giving up two runs on three hits. Martin Perez relieved and failed to retire any of the three batters he faced. He gave up two hits and a third batter reached on an error. Two of the three scored, but both runs were unearned because of the error.
Joey Gallo hit his 40th home run, a solo shot in the third inning. It was the second straight year that Gallo has reached the 40 home run plateau. That was all the scoring on the night making the final score 4-1. Gallardo is 8-7 with the loss, and his ERA is 6.40.
On Wednesday, Adrian Beltre and Jurickson Profar homered for all the Rangers’ scoring on the night. Yohander Mendez was the starting pitcher and he was gone with one out in the fifth inning, giving up two runs on three hits. He did walk four batters though.
The game was tied at 2 going to the eighth inning. Angels’ phenom Shohei Ohtani untied it with a home run. The Rangers went quietly in the ninth with two strikeouts and a groundout to make the final score 3-2. Chris Martin served up the pitch for Ohtani’s round tripper to take the loss and fall to 1-5.
The Rangers now head to Seattle for four games to complete the season. The announced starting pitchers for the Rangers are Ariel Jurado on Thursday, Martin Perez on Friday, Adrian Sampspn on Saturday and Yovani Gallardo on Sunday afternoon.
* Joey Gallo becomes the fourth Ranger player to hit 40 home runs in back to back seasons, the first since Alex Rodriguez in 2002 and 2003. Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro are the other two.
* Jurickson Profar becomes the first Ranger switch hitter to hit 20 home runs since Milton Bradley in 2008.