Angels drop 2nd game after clinch, 12-3 to Texas
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Although the Los Angeles Angels’ figurative hangover from their division-clinching party stretched into a second game, manager Mike Scioscia is confident they will shake it off well before October.
Ryan Rua had four hits, Jake Smolinski homered, and the Texas Rangers beat the playoff-bound Angels 12-3 on Friday night for their seventh straight victory.
Texas took a 10-0 lead in the fifth inning on the major league-leading Angels, who have lost two straight since clinching the AL West title on Wednesday with their 12th win in 14 games.
Yet, Los Angeles’ lead over Baltimore for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs stayed at 2 1/2 games with the Orioles’ 5-3 loss to Boston.
“Maybe it’s human nature, but I don’t sense (a letdown),” Brennan Boesch said. “If there is one, it’s not perceivable to me. I think there are just too many guys like myself and others who are getting opportunities and are trying to contribute, so there’s really no room for letdowns, and I really don’t see any of that happening.”
Boesch hit a two-run homer for the Angels, who went back to a normal lineup for the first six innings against Texas after resting their regular position players on Thursday. But Hector Santiago couldn’t record an out in the second inning of a poor start, and the Angels didn’t manage a hit until David Freese’s double leading off the fifth.
Santiago (5-9) has seriously hurt his case for a spot in the Angels’ playoff rotation with consecutive horrible starts during this homestand. The left-hander failed to get an out in the third inning of a loss to Houston last Sunday before being battered by the lowly Rangers.
“Hector has definitely showed what he can do when he’s on,” Scioscia said. “I think he has to get back and just exhale. He’s had a couple of rough ones, obviously, but his arm is good. His stuff is good.”
Adrian Beltre had a two-run single, and Lisalverto Bonilla pitched five solid innings for the Rangers, who still have the majors’ worst record at 61-92 after their longest winning streak of the year. Texas pounded out 15 hits and mostly shut down the big leagues’ most productive offense.
“There’s still a preview for next year to be shown,” said Daniel Robertson, who drove in two runs. “We’ve got to give fans a reason to be excited about next year.”
Bonilla (2-0) yielded two hits and four walks in his second major league start for the Rangers, who beat Los Angeles for just the second time in 14 games.
After Smolinski’s second homer highlighted a three-run first inning, four straight Rangers singled in the second to chase Santiago. Leonys Martin outran Mike Trout’s throw to the plate on Elvis Andrus’ sacrifice fly to put Texas up 7-0.
“I’ll be fresh for the next one, that’s for sure,” Santiago said.
Trout went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, taking sole possession of the AL lead with 175 strikeouts in what is likely to be his first MVP season.
Santiago responded to another poor outing by shaving his head and most of his beard. “Just clean it off, get all the bad effects out,” he said.
Angels: Josh Hamilton sat out for the 14th time in 15 games with pain in his upper body, but Scioscia is optimistic his $125 million cleanup hitter can return for the playoffs.
After two extra days of rest, Angels ace Jered Weaver (17-8, 3.50) is lined up to start the AL division series opener on Oct. 2. He will take on Colby Lewis (10-13, 5.12).