Monday, July 30, 2012
LA Angels 15, Texas Rangers 8
Free-falling Rangers drop another game to division rivals.
ARLINGTON The Texas Rangers served up a free win to their closest divisional rivals Monday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, losing 15-8 to the LA Angels in the opening game of a four-game series. The loss was their third in their last four games and dropped Texas to 59-42, four games ahead of both the Angels and the Oakland A's for first place in the AL West. Los Angeles improved to 56-47.
Rangers starter Roy Oswalt was terrible, allowing eight runs on 11 hits over just five-plus innings. Oswalt, who had given up one run apiece in his last two starts, fell to 3-2 on the season with a 6.49 ERA.
Reliever Robbie Ross, who entered the game 6-0 with a 1.08 ERA, served up a grand slam in relief to pinch-hitter Kendrys Morales, and saw his ERA balloon to 1.78. Morales had previously hit another pinch home run earlier in the inning from the other side of the plate, becoming just the third major leaguer to hit two home runs in the same inning from both the left and right side.
Angels starter Ervin Santana, in his first start since a demotion to the bullpen, gave up three runs over five innings to improve to 5-10.
The two teams were in a 3-3 tie until the top of the sixth, when Oswalt and Ross broke down and surrendered nine runs. The Angels collected eight hits in the inning, including five straight singles at one point, as well as Morales' two-run home run and his grand slam. It was the first time since 2010 a major leaguer collected six RBIs in one inning.
The only bright side of the game was that the moribund Rangers offense finally woke up. Josh Hamilton, mired in the worst slump in his Rangers career, went 3-for-4 with two runs and his 29th home run, a solo shot in the fourth that tied the game at 3-3. Nelson Cruz also had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a two-run home run.