Monday, July 30, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Angels 15, Rangers 8
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A huge sixth inning helped the Los Angeles Angels beat up the Texas Rangers 15-8 on Monday night. Starter Roy Oswalt just didn't have it and allowed eight runs in 5 1/3 innings, and the Rangers weren't able to mount a comeback. Some quick thoughts on the game:
What it means: The Angels gain a game on the Rangers and are four games back in the American League West. Oakland gains a half-game (now four back) and plays against Tampa Bay on the West Coast. ... The 15 runs are the third-most allowed by the Rangers this season (they gave up 19 to the White Sox on July 3 and 21 to Seattle on May 30).
Rough start: It was one of Oswalt's worst starts in a Rangers uniform. The veteran gave up eight runs on 11 hits with four strikeouts and three homers in 5 1/3 innings. In half his starts for the Rangers (six of them), he's allowed at least 10 hits. ... The only start in which he allowed more than that many runs was July 3 at Chicago against the White Sox, when he gave up 11 runs (nine earned) on 13 hits in just 4 2/3 innings.
Homer happy: Oswalt gave up three home runs in the same start for the second time in his six starts. Maicer Izturis hit a solo shot in the second, Mike Trout hit a two-run homer (his 17th of the season) in the third and Kendrys Morales hit one in the sixth. (Morales' second homer came off Robbie Ross.
Ross rusty? Ross, who's been solid all season, struggled Monday. It had been a week since he pitched (last Monday versus Boston), and his command was wobbly. He allowed four runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning. It was the first time all season he's given up more than two runs.
Huge night for Morales: Kendrys Morales hit two home runs in the sixth inning and scored six RBIs. ... The home runs came on both sides of the plate. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Morales is just the third player to hit homers from both sides of the plate in an inning in MLB history. Mark Bellhorn and Carlos Baerga are the others. ... The last player with six RBIs in one inning was San Francisco's Juan Uribe on Sept. 23, 2010, at the Chicago Cubs. ... Morales is just the second Angel to homer from both sides of the plate. The other one: Rick Reichardt on April 30, 1966. Yep, more than 46 years ago.
Cruz crusher: Nelson Cruz is known for launching long home runs, but as far as homers to straightaway center, the one he hit in the seventh inning had to be one of the longest to that part of the park. It was estimated at 453 feet and went over Greene's Hill, just to the left side of the Batter's Eye Club. Cruz has home runs in four of his past six games.
Sun balls: Two balls hit early in the game caused issues for left fielders with the sun shining in that direction. The 6 p.m. start makes it very tough out there. Albert Pujols' two-out double in the first went just past David Murphy's glove because he couldn't see it even with sunglasses on. Murphy then took advantage and hit a fly ball toward Mike Trout out there, and Trout couldn't see it and was turned around. The double scored Josh Hamilton with the second run of the game.
RISP streak ends at 29: Murphy's double to left in the second ended a streak of 29 straight hitless at-bats with runners in scoring position, dating back to the first inning of Friday's loss to the Chicago White Sox. The Rangers scored two runs in the inning, the first on a sac fly in foul ground down the right-field line by Michael Young. ... Before Murphy's double, the last time the Rangers scored a run on a non-homer hit was Ian Kinsler's bloop in the fourth inning of Wednesday's game against Boston.
Hamilton's extra-base hits: Josh Hamilton ended an 0-for-14 streak with an opposite-field double in the second to put runners at second and third, and get the inning going for the Rangers after Nelson Cruz's walk. He hit a solo homer in the fourth, just over the scoreboard in left field. Both hits went the other way. It was the first time Hamilton had at least two extra-base hits in a game since May 30, when he had two doubles versus Seattle. ... He had a single in the sixth, meaning he had hits in his first three at-bats. It was his first three-hit night since May 11.
Tidbits: Mike Napoli was charged with a passed ball in the third, his eighth of the season. ... The Rangers made a well-timed pitch out with two outs in the fourth. Napoli made a nice throw to Kinsler and got Howie Kendrick easily. ... Napoli thought a strikeout of Morales in the third was the final out of the inning and started to trot off. Oswalt stopped him, as it was just the second out of the inning. ... Michael Kirkman gave up three runs in the seventh inning and had trouble finding the strike zone, issuing three walks. ... Jerome Williams gets a save because he pitched the final four innings (and allowed five runs).
Up next: LHP Derek Holland (7-5, 4.74 ERA) goes up against Angels ace RHP Jered Weaver (13-1, 2.26 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW.