ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers got the solid pitching effort they needed from Derek Holland but not the run support in a 3-2 loss to the Angels. The Rangers saw their two-game win streak come to an end, a loss that put them 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Angels in the AL West.
Late rally for Rangers and Angels:Both teams needed to rally to tie and take leads in the latter stages of the game. The Angels broke a 2-2 tie in the ninth when Maicer Izturis singled to left to bring home Jeff Mathis with the go-ahead run. The at-bat was setup by an excellent sequence between Rangers reliever Darren Oliver and No. 2 hitter Bobby Abreu. Oliver was ahead of the count 1-2 when he missed on two consecutive fastballs to make the count full. Oliver tried a slider that missed to walk Abreu with two outs, then Izturis came through to give the Angels their second lead of the day. The Rangers had tied it in the eighth when Michael Young's hard-hit single bounced off the heel of the glove of Erick Aybar, scoring Ian Kinsler.
Early opportunity falls through:The biggest chance the Rangers had against Angels starter Dan Haren came in the second inning. Leading 1-0, the Rangers were able to get runners on second and third with no one out when Yorvit Torrealba came up. He bunted the runners over to setup No. 9 hitter Chris Davis. He popped out to third, and then Endy Chavez flew out to center to end the inning. It was an interesting decision by manager Ron Washington to move the runners over by bunting. The bottom of the order is struggling: Torrealba was 0-15 during this homestand at that point, Davis had just three hits in his last 10 at bats and Chavez was playing his first game in nearly two years. It looks as if Washington didn't have much to work with in that situation.
Holland pitches well:By the time he left, Rangers starter Derek Holland allowed two runs on six hits in six innings. The left-hander threw 105 pitches, walking three with four strikeouts. He danced out of trouble most of the day, getting only one 1-2-3, inning. He allowed his runs on a pair of doubles from Alberto Callaspo, who drove in the tying run in the fourth and the go-ahead run in the sixth.
Holland was getting the run support from his teammates. The Rangers were averaging 7.9 runs per game with Holland on the mound. He was 1-1, with a 6.37 ERA in his last five starts that saw his ERA jump from 2.25 to 5.18. It appeared he solved any isues he may have had on Saturday afternoon.
Chavez makes debut:Endy Chavez led off for the Rangers in place of Julio Borbon, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his left hamstring. Chavez had not played since 2009 when he suffered a torn ACL and MCL when running into a teammate while chasing a pop fly.