Despite 10 strikeouts for starter Colby Lewis and a late comeback by the offense, the Rangers fell 5-4 to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Saturday night.
In the top of the first, Lewis got the first two outs quickly, but allowed an 0-2 line-drive homer to Angels first baseman Albert Pujols to open the game's scoring. Lewis then struck out Josh Hamilton swinging to keep the Rangers only one run behind. However, the Rangers would go quietly in the top of the first, and Howie Kendrick widened Los Angeles' lead with a solo homer on the second pitch of the top of the second inning. The Angels struck again with two outs, when Chris Iannetta doubled in Erick Aybar to extend the lead to 3-0.
The Angels loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the fourth, and Lewis managed to get the first two outs, but a broken-bat single by Kole Calhoun scored two to make the Angels' lead 5-0. Mike Trout then popped out to end the inning.
Josh Hamilton would try to score from second in the top of the fifth on a single by Howie Kendrick, but an extremely strong throw from Alex Rios beat Hamilton to the plate by a few feet, making him an easy second out of the inning. Aybar reached first on a J.P. Arencibia error, and moved Kendrick over to third. The threat was ended, however, when Lewis struck out David Freese swinging.
Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker no-hit the Rangers through the third, but Shin-Soo Choo ended both that and the shutout with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the fourth, bringing the Rangers within four runs. Later in the fourth, a walk to Adrian Beltre, short single by Leonys Martin, and a single through the shortstop hole by J.P. Arencibia scored another run for the Rangers.
Both pitchers then traded zeros through the sixth inning, where Shoemaker was replaced by Mike Morin with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Morin came in with Martin on first base, and struck out Arencibia to end the inning.
Rookie reliever Phil Klein took over for Lewis in the top of the seventh, and pitched a one-two-three inning, getting Pujols to fly out to left, striking Hamilton out swinging, andinducing a middle-depth fly to right-center from Kendrick.
After allowing a double to Robinson Chirinos and hitting Shin-Soo Choo, Morin was replaced by Jason Grilli. Elvis Andrus hit a single to load the bases with two outs off the first pitch he saw from Grilli, bringing up Alex Rios. A two-RBI single to center from Rios brought Chirinos and Choo home to make the game 5-4, the first runs to score for either team since the bottom of the fourth.
A leaping grab from Jim Adduci helped Neal Cotts throw a five-pitch top of the eighth, the second highlight-reel play of the game from the Rangers' outfield, and Roman Mendez pitched a perfect top of the ninth.
A combination of Joe Smith and Huston Street finished off the Rangers offense, allowing no hits in their two innings of work.
The Rangers will try to hold off the sweep Sunday at 2:05 p.m. CT when they face Hector Santiago, and Texas starter Nick Tepesch will look for his fifth win.
Lewis struck out four straight batters between the second and the third, including Trout, Pujols, and Hamilton (looking) . . . Before their hits tonight, Alex Rios was 0-for-16 and J.P Arencibia was 0-for-19 . . . Lewis' 10 strikeouts were two off his career high of 12, set in 2012