Angels drop series against Rangers with 16-8 loss

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
José Suarez left the game early on Sunday with left shoulder discomfort, and the team walked away with a 16-8 loss against the Texas Rangers.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — José Suarez had his best start of the season last week, but his performance today put extra pressure on the bullpen early in the game, and although the offense put up a solid fight to bring in runs, they were unable to even out the score, putting the Angels two games back in the AL West standings. 

Suarez entered today’s game with a 7.89 ERA, and allowed seven runs on six hits within the first three innings. He was pulled in the third inning due to left shoulder discomfort, said manager Phil Nevin. Nevin said that Suarez hadn’t mentioned any discomfort before, and up until that point, Suarez said he felt fine. 

“During the second inning, I was trying to fight over, but I couldn’t handle the pain,” said Suarez. “I thought I could hold out on the pain and I wanted to pitch, but I couldn’t.” 

He said after the game that he’s never felt a pain like that in his shoulder. He is scheduled for a MRI tomorrow to identify the cause, and depending on the results, the Angels could be left with a gap in their starting rotation. 

Looking back on his last six starts, it hasn’t been the smoothest of seasons for the 25-year-old lefty as he’s struggled with consistency on the mound.

Earlier this season in a game against the Oakland A’s, Suarez allowed seven runs on eight hits in the first three innings before Shohei Ohtani noticed that he was revealing his pitches with his glove placement. 

He remedied that in the same game, and last Sunday in Milwaukee, he showed signs of vast improvement, earning his first win of the season after tossing five scoreless innings and allowing only two hits and three walks with six strikeouts. 

Before he was pulled due to an injury, today’s performance mirrored earlier appearances from this season as he struggled early on and left the bullpen to take on more than they bargained for. 

It became Chase Silseth’s game in the third. Before Sunday, Silseth had thrown five scoreless innings across three outings with the Angels this year, but he outlasted the starting pitcher today, throwing 3.1 innings, including scoreless fifth and sixth innings. He allowed six runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts. 

For the second time in this series against Texas, an Angels position player stepped in on the mound to secure the final outs. Jake Lamb pitched a scoreless inning in the ninth. 

While the bullpen struggled to quiet the Rangers offense, the Halos lineup put up a solid effort at the plate and earned eight runs.

After colliding with Matt Thaiss on Friday night, Anthony Rendon was given a day off on Saturday due to a sore thumb. He was back in the lineup’s cleanup spot today where he gave the Angels an early lead in the first inning with a 3-run home run that scored Mike Trout and Ohtani. The 390-foot drive into left field was Rendon’s first home run of the season. 

Hunter Renfroe also recorded his eighth home run of the season against Rangers pitcher José Leclerc in the ninth. –  a 430-foot drive into left field.

Ultimately, the Angels defense also contributed to their loss as Rendon, Thaiss and Gio Urshela all made defensive errors that helped the Rangers widen their lead. 

“We played horribly defensively, not just the three errors. There were other things that happened that inning, whether it was alignments, not understanding some runners, wild pitches, past balls, you name it. We did a lot wrong that inning, and then I believe in the next inning, we made some mistakes as well, but the game should not have been where it got to,” said Nevin. 

The Angels hold a 19-16 record going into a home stand against the Houston Astros, who are currently in third place in the AL West.