Rapid Reaction: Angels 3, Rangers 0

July, 11, 2014
Jul 11
10:04
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers got a well-pitched game from Nick Tepesch but came up empty against Los Angeles Angels pitcher Garrett Richards in a 3-0 loss Friday night at Globe Life Park.

Richards limited Texas to five hits in seven shutout innings before turning it over to the bullpen.

The loss was the Rangers' sixth in a row and No. 20 in their last 23 games.

A few observations:

Strong outing: Tepesch pitched better than his statistical line might indicate. He retired the first 10 Angels before Mike Trout broke the string with a 418-foot home run into the Angels' bullpen. It was Trout's second home run of the series and 22nd of the season.

Two defensive plays Rangers infielders couldn't quite make cost Tepesch in the seventh. Shortstop Elvis Andrus just missed flagging down Albert Pujols' leadoff single. Josh Hamilton followed with a base hit off the outstretched glove of Rougned Odor. Erick Aybar followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead and that was the end of the night for Tepesch.

Reliever Neftali Feliz couldn't prevent an inherited runner from scoring.

That smarts!: Rookie Jake Smolinski, batting .571 so far after four starts, stayed in the game after being hit above the left elbow by a Richards pitch in the second inning and promptly made a hard slide into second, breaking up a potential double play. But Smolinski did not return to the field for the third inning because of a left elbow contusion. X-rays were negative.

Collision course: Ron Washington's motivational clubhouse meeting Thursday might have had something to do with a near collision of Rangers in the first inning. Right fielder Alex Rios came running in on Trout's fly to shallow right and second baseman Odor was sprinting out. Rios dived out of the way at the last moment and Odor may have inadvertently contacted Rios as he made the catch. Rios stayed in the game and had two hits.

Wasted chances: The Rangers stranded a runner in scoring position off Richards in five of the first six innings. Leonys Martin failed on two chances, grounding to second in the first and to first base in the third.

15 and counting: Adrian Beltre keeps validating the players' All-Star voting, which saw him on top among third basemen. Beltre extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a third-inning single to right. It is the longest active hitting streak in the American League. Beltre last had a 15-game streak in 2008 when he played for the Seattle Mariners. In the eighth with a man aboard, Beltre drove Trout to the wall with a deep fly out.

Contact problem: Designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo struck out three times for the second straight game.

Defensive gems: There were quite a few for Texas. Beltre made a nice stop of a tricky hop off the bat of Pujols to end the first. Daniel Robertson covered a lot of ground to chase down Hamilton's fly ball in the fourth. Robinson Chirinos made a perfect throw to Andrus, thwarting Aybar's attempted steal of second in the fourth. First baseman Carlos Pena robbed Kole Calhoun of extra bases by spearing his line drive in the sixth. The Rangers turned a snappy double play started by Beltre in the eighth. It had to be snappy to double up Trout.

Up next: The Rangers and Angels tangle in the third game of the four-game series at 6:15 p.m. CT Saturday with Rangers right-hander Miles Mikolas (0-1, 12.46 ERA) facing off against right-hander Jered Weaver (9-6, 3.50 ERA) at Globe Life Park on ESPN 103.3 FM and Fox.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 19 77 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182