Angels shutout Rangers to close series


It had been a rough stretch for Hector Santiago. He had lost five straight decisions since his win over Boston on July 20th, and the team had only won one of his starts since then. But over a month of bad fortune turned around as he threw six innings of one hit ball to lead the Angels over the Rangers 6-0. Shin-Soo Choo and Rougned Odor were the only two guys to get hits for the Rangers in this one.

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In both the first and second innings, the Rangers got runners on. Drew Stubbs lead off the game with a walk, then stole second. Prince Fielder walked to put two guys on with one out, but Adrian Beltre grounded into a double play to end the top of the first. In the second after Mike Napoli had walked, Odor hit his double to center field which moved Napoli to third. But Chris Giminez lined into a double play, with Odor being thrown out at second.

Mike Trout got his first homerun since August 7th, the first of his two RBIs in this game. From there it was all Angels as they rolled to a 7-0 win.

Colby Lewis lasted just five innings in this one, lasting no more than 5.2 innings in any of his last three starts, all of which he took the loss in. He’s allowed 23 hits and 18 runs (15 earned) in those three games. The Angels got to him the last time he started against them as well, putting 10 runs on 12 hits on July 5th.

With this loss, the Rangers are back to three games behind the Astros and 2.5 ahead of the Angels, whom they are now 5-10 against this season. Tomorrow the Rangers go back to Seattle, where they took two of three in August. Yovani Gallardo (11-9) will start against Roenis Elias (4-7). First pitch is at 5:40 PM CT.

What adds an extra layer to this series is that the Mariners are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now, having won five straight. They are just six games behind the Rangers. It would be a longshot for them to catch Texas and get into the playoff race, but it means this series is a crucial one for Seattle. If they can win this four game series, they’ll continue to make up ground on Texas. But if the Rangers win, they could almost bury the Mariners with less than a month in the regular season.

Currently the Rangers still hold a 1.5 game lead on the Twins for the second wild card spot, but another team lurking out there is the Indians, who have 11 of their 16 and are five games out. The wild card race in the American League is gonna be thrilling until the end of the season.