Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rangers charge from gate, but Angels have last laugh

Collin Cowgill and David Freese hit a pair of two-run home runs off Rangers starter Ross Detwiler in the fifth inning, lifting the Angels to a 6-3 victory on Monday night.
Angels starter Matt Shoemaker gave up three runs in the first inning, then retired 18 of the last 21 batters he faced before leaving with a two-run lead with one out in the seventh. He is unbeaten with nine victories in his last 10 starts going back to last season.
"That's why I love this team," Shoemaker said. "That was a great team effort. These guys picked me up big time tonight. I tried to go out there after that first and just settle down, get deep into the game and give our team a chance to win."
"We were stubborn with our approach early, taking the singles," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Shoemaker settled in and started making pitches down in the zone and a steady stream of strikes. We just couldn't mount anything after that." More >
Detwiler allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings and is now 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts. The Rangers have lost 15 of their last 20 games to the Angels dating back to last season, including 10 of their last 11 in Arlington.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Going deep: Trailing by two in the fifth, the Angels plated four runs off Detwiler with a couple of two-run homers. Cowgill -- batting leadoff in place of Kole Calhoun, who did not start because of a strained right calf, though he came off the bench in the ninth to contribute an RBI single -- laced a two-run homer to left-center to tie the score at 3. Three batters later, Freese gave the Angels their first lead with a two-run shot to right field. It was Freese's team-leading third home run this year. Last season, he didn't hit his third home run until July 2.
No interference call: The Rangers had runners at the corners with one out in the first when Prince Fielder singled to left-center to drive home the game's first run. Adrian Beltre went to third on the play and rounded the bag hard when he saw Mike Trout bobble the ball. Beltre held up and ran into third-base coach Tony Beasley. Angels manager Mike Scioscia argued to third-base umpire Dan Iassogna that Beltre should have been called out on coach's interference,. but Iassogna was not swayed. The Rangers ended up scoring two more that inning.
Settling in: It looked as though Shoemaker was in for a long night after he gave up three runs on four hits in the first inning. But the 28-year-old right-hander got his split-finger fastball into the game, started hitting his spots and ultimately gave up just those three runs in 6 1/3 innings. After Mitch Moreland's RBI double with one out in the first, Shoemaker retired 18 of 21 batters, six on strikeouts. More >
Game-changing walk: Detwiler took a two-run lead into the top of the fifth and the first batter was Chris Iannetta, who was 1-for-19 on the season. Detwiler threw a first-pitch strike, then four straight balls. That put Iannetta on first for Cowgill's game-tying home run. More >
QUOTABLE
"I thought I had it. If I catch it, it's a different game." -- Shin-Soo Choo, on dropping a two-out fly ball that led to the Angels' first run, in the fourth inning
"I thought we hit the ball hard all night long. Even the first three innings, when we didn't have anything to show for it, there's probably about five balls we hit right on the screws." -- Scioscia, on an offense that entered Monday with a .195 batting average
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Angels reliever Joe Smith pitched his third scoreless inning and has not allowed a run in his last 15 1/3 innings going back to last season. He set an Angels club record last season with 67 total scoreless appearances.
INTERESTING DEVELOPMENT
With one on and one out in the seventh, and his club nursing a two-run lead, Scioscia went to lefty Cesar Ramos because the Rangers had three straight lefties -- Rougned OdorLeonys Martin and Choo -- coming up. Scioscia also had his other lefty, Jose Alvarez, warming for Fielder and Moreland later in the order. It's the first time in a long time that Scioscia has had two lefty relievers in his 'pen. More >
REPLAY REVIEW
Scioscia lost a challenge in the fourth inning, when replay upheld the initial call that Matt Joyce was out at third base. Rangers right fielder Choo dropped Joyce's two-out fly ball deep in the gap in right-center, allowing a run to score, but Joyce was thrown out trying to stretch the hit to a triple. Scioscia used his challenge, insisting Joyce got his right hand to the bag with a headfirst slide just before Beltre put on the tag, but he couldn't get the call overturned through replay.
WHAT'S NEXT
Angels right-hander Drew Rucinski, signed out of independent ball in August 2013, makes his first Major League start when he pitches against the Rangers on Tuesday in Arlington. Rucinski pitched two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Saturday against the Royals. He'll be opposed by right-hander Nick Martinez, making his second start of the season. Martinez threw seven scoreless innings in a 10-1 win over the Athletics on Thursday.

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