The Rangers fell for their third straight game, losing 7-3 to the Los Angeles Angels, dropping 10.5 game back for the division title.
Texas was the first on the board, when Leonys Martin scored off a RBI single from Elvis Andrus in the third. However, C.J. Cron responded with a leadoff solo homer for the halos, tying the game at 1-1.
Los Angeles ran away with the game in the third, where the Rangers lack of a true first baseman was brought to light. Josh Hamilton walked, and Howie Kendrick double, to put two men on for Erick Aybar. Aybar hit into a fielder’s choice, where a throwing error by first baseman Brad Snyder allowed Hamilton and Kendrick to score. Aybar would also score off a single from David Freese.
Starting pitcher Joe Saunders started the fifth inning by delivering back-to-back walks to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Hamilton singled to score Trout, Aybar singled to score Pujols, and Freese singled to score Hamilton, bringing the Angels lead over the Rangers to 7-1.
Michael Choice hit a solo home run in the seventh, and Alex Rios scored on a groundout from Robinso Chirinos in the eighth, cutting the Angels lead over the Rangers to 7-3.
Though it seemed as if Saunders had settled into a routine, his struggles Friday night was a disappointing flash of nostalgia. Saunders was unable to make it out of the fifth inning, and gave up seven runs, four earned.
The brightest star of the night was Ben Rowen, who was appearing in his third major league game out of the bullpen. Rowen’s submarine approach was able to stun Angels batters, throwing three and a third shutout innings. While there appear to be many disappointments with this 2014 season, Rowen is something Rangers fans can be excited over.
Nick Martinez takes the mound Saturday, for game two against the Angels. Game time is slated for 6:15 p.m. CT.