Texas Rangers: Howie Kendrick
|Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
Wilson (11-6, 3.18): Wilson has been on a roll, going 7-1 with a 1.96 ERA in his last eight starts for the Halos and hasn't walked more than three batters in any of the starts. ... He had four walks or more in five of his first 13 starts this season. ... Wilson is 6-3 with a 4.21 ERA on the road ... Opponents are batting .259 against him in his 11 road starts. ... The Angels are 12-9 in his starts. ... Wilson has been awful in five starts against the Rangers, compiling an 0-2 record and a 7.65 ERA. He's allowed 27 hits in 20 innings against Texas.
Hitters: Current Angels are batting .323 against Holland, so he's had his struggles against them. Infielders Howie Kendrick (16-for-43, 2 HRs, 12 RBIs) and Alberto Callaspo (12-for-34, 1 HR, 4 RBIs) have been the toughest outs for the Rangers' southpaw. The current Rangers are batting .298 against Wilson. Adrian Beltre (10-for-28, 1 HR, 4 RBIs) and Ian Kinsler (4-for-10, 1 HR, 2 RBIs) have given their former teammate fits.
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- For the first time since his debut, Ryan Dempster failed to make it out of the fourth inning as the Texas Rangers dropped the opener of a three-game set against the Los Angeles Angels, 11-3, on Tuesday night. Dempster had gone at least six innings in seven consecutive starts. Some quick thoughts:
What it means: The second-place Oakland Athletics fell to the Detroit Tigers, 12-2, so the Rangers maintained their three-game lead in the American League West standings.
Hamilton exits: A wacky fourth inning began with Josh Hamilton's exit. He didn't take the field in the bottom half of the fourth due to sinus issues and was re-evaluated in the clubhouse. Leonys Martin replaced him in center field.
Injury to insult: Tanner Scheppers made only two pitches after replacing Dempster -- hitting Erick Aybar with his first to load the bases and then throwing to the backstop, allowing two runs to score. To make matters worse, Chris Iannetta slid into Scheppers while scoring the go-ahead run and Scheppers limped off with a bruised right knee. The club announced Scheppers would be re-evaluated Wednesday.
Frantic fourth inning: The Angels sent 12 men to the plate in the fourth and scored eight runs, the most they've posted in an inning at home this season. Dempster lasted just 3 1/3 innings, surrendering five earned runs on six hits and three walks.
Napoli's house: Mike Napoli continued to torture his former team, launching a solo homer in the third to put the Rangers on the board. He has a home run every 14.6 career at-bats at Angel Stadium (57 HR in 830 AB), the best ratio all-time in this park. Napoli is hitting .463 (19-for-41) against the Angels this season.
Ross returns: Left-handed reliever Robbie Ross dazzled in his first appearance since being reinstated Saturday. Ross, who spent the first half of the month on the disabled list with a left forearm strain, retired the side in order in the seventh, striking out Mike Trout
First-pitch hack: Ian Kinsler was unable to extend his arms on an inside fastball in his first at-bat, popping out weakly to the right side. Jered Weaver tried jamming Kinsler again in the third inning but, that time, left his pitch up. Kinsler whacked the 88-mph offering to left field for a two-run homer, his 18th of the season.
Same old, same old: The Rangers have yet to beat Weaver in Anaheim. The right-hander has a career record of 9-0 against Texas at home, and earned his 100th career victory.
Two-out trouble: Indications of Dempster's struggles came early. After retiring the first two batters in the third inning, Dempster had trouble with his command and got himself into a bases loaded jam. Aybar singled and Torii Hunter and Kendrys Morales both walked, but Dempster induced a harmless grounder off the bat of Howie Kendrick to escape.
Up next: The teams continue their three-game series Wednesday. LHP Derek Holland (10-6, 4.50 ERA) takes the mound for the Rangers against former mentor C.J. Wilson (12-9, 3.73 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM, FSSW and ESPN.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels will battle it out in the second game of a four-game series Tuesday night. The matchup features LHP Derek Holland vs. RHP Jered Weaver at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW. A quick look at the matchup:
Holland (7-5, 4.74): The 25-year-old will make his 16th start and 17th appearance of the season. ... It will be his fifth start since making his return from the disabled list July 7. ... In his previous four starts, he is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA with quality starts in three of those four outings. ... He is third on the team in wins and fourth in strikeouts with 74, despite his one month stint on the DL. ... Had a successful start in his last outing, giving up three runs on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings in the Rangers' 5-3 win last Wednesday against Boston. ... He has four career starts in Arlington against the Angels, going 2-1 with a 4.56 ERA. ... Holds a 5-4 record and 5.27 ERA in 13 games -- 10 starts -- against the Angels in his career. ... Lost his lone start against Angels this season, giving up six runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings July 20 in Anaheim.
Weaver (13-1, 2.26): The 29-year-old is making his 19th start of the season. ... He has won seven straight starts, which matches a career-best that he set in his rookie season (2006). ... Holds the lowest ERA in the league and is second in wins. ... Angels are 15-3 when he pitches. ... Gave up two runs on three hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in five innings in his last start July 25 against the Kansas City Royals. ... It will be is 28th start of his career against Texas. ... In his three starts against the Rangers this season, he is 1-1 with a 7.84 ERA. ... Holds a 10-7 lifetime record and 3.67 ERA against the Rangers, including two complete games.
Hitters: Current Rangers are 117-for-459 (.255) against Weaver. ... Elvis Andrus is 22-for-51 (.431) with a four doubles, a triple, two home runs and five RBIs. ... Josh Hamilton is 10-for-40 (.250) with six doubles, a home run and five RBIs. ... Nelson Cruz is 12-for-53 (.226) with two doubles, a home run, five RBIs and 16 strikeouts. ... Current Angels are 56-for-184 (.304) against Holland. ... Howie Kendrick is 8-for-28 (.286) with five doubles, a home run and seven RBIs. ... Torii Hunter is 6-for-24 (.250) with two home runs and four RBIs.
Wed vs. LAA: RHP Yu Darvish (11-7, 4.05) vs. RHP Dan Haren (8-8, 4.59 ERA) 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540/FSSW
Thur vs. LAA: LHP Matt Harrison (12-5, 3.02) vs. LHP C.J. Wilson (9-7, 2.88 ERA) 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540/FSSW
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The pressure had been on Matt Harrison for the better part of six innings Sunday night. Five leadoff batters had reached base and he had been tagged for seven hits, already two more than he had allowed in a complete-game effort in his previous start. Harrison hadn't dealt with high-tension situations in recent outings and, with the Texas Rangers trailing by a run and opposing pitcher Dan Haren out of the game, he didn't want another stressful inning, especially with No. 9 batter Bobby Wilson in the box to start the seventh.
"My biggest mistake," Harrison said of Wilson's home run, the catcher's first in nearly a year.
The Angels went up 4-2, Harrison was pulled from the game and the Rangers eventually fell, 7-4, and lost two of three to the Los Angeles Angels.
"I kind of dropped my guard," said Harrison, who lost for only the second time in his last 11 starts.
Manager Ron Washington thought Harrison pitched well given that he seemingly had at least one runner on base any time he toed the rubber. The four earned runs were the most Harrison (12-5) has surrendered since May 12 against these same Angels -- a span of 13 starts.
"He kept us in the ballgame," Washington said. "We just couldn't shut it down in the bullpen."
Alexi Ogando, who struck out two in a scoreless inning Saturday, came in for Harrison and got Mike Trout to fly out, the only time the 20-year-old rookie didn't reach base Sunday.
Then it all fell apart.
Torii Hunter singled, Albert Pujols homered and Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick each singled before Washington made a change. The Angels stretched their lead to 6-2 in the seventh inning.
"He'll figure it out," Washington said of Ogando.
Harrison said he had good movement on his pitches and, even though he was coming off two consecutive complete games, fatigue was not an issue.
It was a mental lapse that did him in.
"Some frustrating parts to it, but it was just one of those games," Harrison said. "I had to battle the whole game. Hopefully I'll go out next time and get better."
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers squandered early opportunities and Derek Holland was shaky in Friday's 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Some quick thoughts:
What it means: The Angels took the first game of the three-game set, pulling within five games of the Rangers in the American League West standings. ... The Rangers are 16-16 in their own division, and 3-4 against Los Angeles.
The bad with the good: Holland looked nothing like the pitcher who last week blanked the Seattle Mariners. The left-hander had been sharp on the road (4-1, 2.58 ERA) heading into Friday, but the Angels tagged him for six runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. Los Angeles had five extra-base hits; Texas had two.
Unlucky No. 11: Mark Trumbo fouled off six pitches during his at-bat in the sixth inning, so he had plenty of looks at Holland before launching the 11th pitch for his team-leading 27th home run. Holland had Trumbo 0-2 in the count but couldn't put him away.
Too much of the zone: Trumbo's screaming blast hurt, but it was a slow, hanging curveball in the fourth that proved to be the backbreaker for Holland. The pitch seemed to freeze as it reached home plate and Erick Aybar lunged at it, but still managed to hook it into the left field corner to give the Angels a comfortable 4-1 lead. That it came immediately after a mound visit by pitching coach Mike Maddux didn't help matters.
Ol' four-six-three rally killer: Teams don't get too many golden opportunities against Angels ace Jered Weaver but the Rangers had one in the third inning and wasted it. Mike Napoli led off with a bloop single to right field and Craig Gentry followed with a liner that skipped past left fielder Mike Trout for a double, setting up a favorable situation with the top of the order due up. But Ian Kinsler fouled out on the first pitch he saw and, after a walk to Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton bounced into an inning-ending double play. Weaver fed off the escape act, and Angel fans roared.
Accurate Andrus: Holland's numbers would have been worse if not for a perfect throw home from Andrus in the first. The Angels got greedy on Howie Kendrick's game-tying double, waving the 230-pound Albert Pujols around from first. Andrus received the throw from Gentry, and fired a strike to the plate to limit the damage.
Rare power: An unlikely source brought the thunder early. Andrus hammered a 3-and-2 offering from Weaver to deep left-center field, putting the Rangers on the board in the first. It was only his second home run of the season and first since April 11 -- a drought that spanned 83 games. It's all the Rangers would muster.
Up next: Yu Darvish vs. Ervin Santana at 3:05 p.m. Saturday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and Fox.
He chased down a long, two-out drive to center by Elvis Andrus in the top of the seventh to end a scoring threat. He hit an RBI triple to get an otherwise dormant Angels offense on Friday going, leading to a two-run sixth to tie the game.
And he delivered the winning hit with a two-out, bases-loaded single in the seventh to score Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar with the eventual winning runs. Trout ended up 2-for-4 with three RBIs and extended his team-high hitting streak to six games. He has 12 multi-hit games since May 3, including three of the last six.
His play impressed the opposing skipper.
"He's a good player, a real good player," Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's got speed, a little pop in that bat, makes contact. He's an exciting-looking little player."
That loaded the bases for the streaking Mike Trout, who was able to muscle a ball to center off reliever Alexi Ogando to score two runs and turn a tie game into a 4-2 Angels lead. Los Angeles held on for the victory, closing the gap with the Rangers to 4 1/2 games.
"I misplayed it and dropped the ball," Kinsler said. "There's not much else to it. It's part of baseball."
Kinsler did not blame the mistake on the fact that he was thinking about the speed of Izturis or anything else.
"I kind of played myself into that hop," Kinsler said. "A lot of times out of a lot of times I catch that ball. It didn't bounce our way tonight."
That's true. The Rangers had some early chances to increase a 2-0 lead, but couldn't string enough hits together. Mitch Moreland hit into double plays in the second and fourth to end threats. The Rangers had a runner in scoring position with one out in the third with Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre coming up and couldn't score him.
An error by Alberto Callaspo put Nelson Cruz on base with no one out in the seventh, but those bounces Kinsler talked about didn't help then, either. Kinsler hit a double down the left field line, but it bounced into the seats, preventing Cruz from trying to score. He was stranded when Trout made a terrific running catch in deep center to retire Elvis Andrus, who hit the ball probably as hard as he could.
"We had a couple of chances to get a better lead and didn't do it," Beltre said. "That happens. We'll come back tomorrow and try to win the series."
The seventh inning is what altered things. Starter Colby Lewis got the first two outs and had the bottom three hitters in the Angels lineup in 0-2 holes, but couldn't retire them.
"We just couldn't finish there," manager Ron Washington said.
Lewis gave up a single to Howie Kendrick on an 0-2 fastball. He then got ahead 0-2 on Erick Aybar.
"I tried to come inside and jerked a fastball," said a frustrated Lewis. "I was trying to get him out. I ended up jerking it and hit him in the butt."
The hit-by-pitch put two runners on and ended Lewis' outing. Ogando got the ground ball he needed, but not the out on Kinsler's error.
The loss drops the Rangers lead to 4 1/2 games ahead of the hard-charging Angels with two games left in this three-game series.
"There's no panic here," Washington said. "We'll come out tomorrow and play just as hard tomorrow as we did tonight."
|ESPN LA's Mark Saxon previews this weekend's Rangers-Angels series and examines the AL West race.
Williams (5-1, 3.81 ERA): He has quality starts in seven of his last eight outings. ... He was 4-1 with a 3.16 ERA in six May starts, including a victory in his last one. He allowed three runs on five hits in six innings at Seattle. ... The only time Williams didn't have a quality start in that span came against the Rangers in Arlington, when he gave up six runs on 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings, though that wasn't technically a start. Williams came in for C.J. Wilson after the rain and wasn't able to match Yu Darvish.
Hitters: Adrian Beltre is 5-for-10 with a homer and three RBIs off Williams. ... Nelson Cruz is 5-for-6 (.833) with two homers and six RBIs. ... The only hitter who doesn't have success off Williams is Elvis Andrus, who is 0-for-5. ... Peter Bourjos is 5-for-16 with a triple against Lewis. ... Torii Hunter is just 2-for-16 and Howie Kendrick 3-for-17 off Lewis.
Sat at LAA: RHP Yu Darvish (7-2, 3.25 ERA) vs. LHP C.J. Wilson (6-4, 2.77 ERA), 9:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
Sun at LAA: LHP Matt Harrison (6-3, 4.41 ERA) vs. RHP Dan Haren (3-5, 3.52 ERA), 2:35 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
After Yu Darvish pitched a scoreless first, C.J. Wilson struck out Ian Kinsler, but then watched as Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre got infield singles to score the lone run of the game so far. An errant throw by second baseman Howie Kendrick put runners at second and third with one out before Wilson walked Michael Young just as the rain started to fall.
Nelson Cruz is due to bat next for the Rangers with the bases loaded.
The delay began at 7:33 p.m. at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
"I thought we'd scratch more than one or two [runs]. It just didn't happen," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "That's just the way it goes."
Chavez, who made no excuses for missing a two-out line drive off the bat of rookie Mike Trout that allowed Howie Kendrick to score from second, said he began to worry that his flub would be the difference in the game about midway through with both pitchers mowing down opposing batters.
"About the fifth inning I was thinking about it," Chavez said. "It was surprising the game was running like that and we couldn't score a run today."
Trout's liner was hit hard, but Chavez didn't have to move much to get to what should have been a pretty routine out.
"I just missed the ball," Chavez said. "No excuse, no nothing."
After the error in the second inning, Chavez immediately had a chance to redeem himself by leading off the top half of the third inning. But he popped out to second to start a frustrating 0-for-4 day at the plate. He got one last chance in the bottom of the ninth after catcher Mike Napoli singled with two outs against Angels closer Jordan Walden.
Chavez fouled a couple off and ran the count to 3-2. He sprayed the next pitch to the hole at shortstop, but Erick Aybar made the play cleanly and threw Chavez out to end the game.
"I tried to fix something that I did in the game and I couldn't do it," Chavez said. "I let the team down today and all I can do is be ready for tomorrow's game."
Wilson took the hard-luck loss, becoming the first Rangers pitcher since 1984 to lose a 1-0 game on an unearned run. But, Wilson wasn't about to place all the blame on Chavez's glove. Two batters earlier, Wilson hit Howie Kendrick in the foot with a rare errant slider and Kendrick took second on a wild-pitch strikeout to the next batter, which brought up Trout with two outs.
"I felt like I made a couple mistakes so I wasn't perfect. If you're not perfect you can't expect to win," said Wilson, who dropped to 10-4 despite allowing just two hits, a walk and the one hit batter. "I just wish I would have not hit Kendrick in the foot with that slider. That was the turning point of the game for them to get a cheap run like that."
Rangers starter Derek Holland flirted with danger early, held on, but couldn't escape the sixth. Particularly damaging was a one-out infield single by 19-year-old outfielder Mike Trout, who dashed down the line to narrowly beat shortstop Elvis Andrus' throw to score Mark Trumbo from third. That cut the Rangers' 8-3 lead at the start of the inning to 8-5 with the top of the lineup coming up.
Tommy Hunter relieved Holland and was the victim of another infield hit that Andrus couldn't convert from deep in the hole with third baseman Alberto Callaspo digging down the line. Hunter had worked himself into trouble, giving up a two-out, RBI single to Bobby Abreu and then walking Vernon Wells to bring up Callaspo with runners on first and second. The second infield hit of the inning loaded the bases for the Howie Kendrick, the Angels' hottest hitter on the night.
"He [first-base umpire Jim Wolf] called him safe," said Hunter after his first appearance since July 9. "That's the thing, the inning's not over until the final out is made. It was a close play. It was a bang-bang play and he was safe."
Kendrick then made Hunter pay with his third hit of the game, lacing Hunter's 94 mph, first-pitch fastball down the middle of the plate for a two-run single to left that put the Angels in front 9-8. Hunter then got Trumbo, the 11th man to bat in the inning, but the damage was done in the seven-hit inning.
"The ones that hurt us were the two infield base hits. We get those and we're off the field with the lead," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "But Trout beat one out and then Callaspo beat one out and those were the two that were the damage. Not so much the other stuff. If we get those two right there, we're off the field."
* Andrus had a rough night all the way around. He was 0-for-4 at the plate and committed a throwing error in the eighth inning. It was the first error by a Rangers infielder since Adrian Beltre in the ninth inning on July 1 against Florida.
Wilson (3-1, 1.48 ERA) He enters the game with the lowest ERA in the AL after the Yankees' Phil Hughes struggled Monday. Wilson's record might be more impressive if he received more run support. He got a no-decision in his last start, a 12-inning, 2-1 win, despite throwing seven innings of one-run, four-hit baseball. It was the fourth time in seven starts that he received one or no runs as his 2.59 run support is the second lowest in the AL. He's posted seven consecutive quality starts, the most to begin a season by a member of the season-opening rotation in franchise history. Wilson has not allowed a home run in 43 appearances and seven starts dating to pre-All-Star break last year, a total of 84.2 innings, and he has a homerless streak of 69.1 innings at Rangers Ballpark, the longest in the stadium's history.
Weaver (4-2, 2.47 ERA) The lanky right-hander took his second loss of the season in his last start against Tampa Bay, allowing four runs -- just one earned -- in seven innings while striking out a career-best 12. His seven quality starts this season are second most in the AL. Weaver is making his 15th career start against the Rangers. He was 2-2 with a 4.81 ERA last season and 4-3 with a 3.39 ERA lifetime.
Batters: Josh Hamilton figures to be back in the lineup for the Rangers, especially since he's batting .333 lifetime against Weaver with three doubles on five hits in 15 at-bats. Elvis Andrus is also batting .333 against Weaver with three singles and an RBI. Three Angels are hitting better than .400 against Wilson: Torii Hunter (.500), Juan Rivera (.444) and Howie Kendrick (.429).
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.