ARLINGTON -- Angels starter Jesse Chavez's outing Saturday night swung from promising to disappointing by the slimmest of margins in the fifth inning of the Halos' 6-3 loss to the Rangers.Twice, he had two outs and two strikes on batters, but Nomar Mazara and Rougned Odor drove in runs instead,
ARLINGTON -- Angels starter Jesse Chavez's outing Saturday night swung from promising to disappointing by the slimmest of margins in the fifth inning of the Halos' 6-3 loss to the Rangers.
Twice, he had two outs and two strikes on batters, but Nomar Mazara and Rougned Odor drove in runs instead, with a single and two-run homer, respectively. Between those two hitters, Carlos Gomez tripled on a gapper to right-center that skimmed off the glove of Michael Trout, who missed a sensational catch by inches. And then Odor's two-run shot hit the foul pole, perhaps a foot or two from being a harmless souvenir.
"The first four innings were really good, and I hit a little snag in the fifth, which us starters know is the hardest inning to get through," Chavez said. "I wasn't able to get through that one tonight, and it kind of hurt us."
Holding onto a 2-0 lead, Chavez had scattered four hits and a walk through the first four frames. He got a quick flyout to start the fifth before Jonathan Lucroy doubled, but Chavez got the next batter, Delino DeShields, to pop out.
"I thought he did a real good job early of controlling counts and hitting his spots, and the fifth inning, after the double, he got DeShields to pop up. They got some clutch hits and he couldn't close it out," manager Mike Scioscia said. "As far as the ball coming out of his hand, he made some good pitches, he did a good job."
But, Scioscia continued, "You've got to finish at-bats."
With a full count to Mazara, Chavez left a changeup up in the zone for a single that scored Lucroy. Gomez followed with a ball that Trout managed to track down but couldn't corral.
"It looked like it ticked his glove," Scioscia said, adding that he wasn't sure if Trout had much of a chance to make the play. "If he did, it would have been an incredible catch."
Gomez scored after a brief delay when Rangers manager Jeff Banister came out to have a conversation with home-plate umpire Adam Hamari for what Banister called "a rules clarification," and Odor cranked the next pitch, a 1-2 slider, off the right-field foul pole about halfway up. Chavez lifted his hands and covered his face in frustration for a moment.
"I was just hoping it'd hook a little bit more and it's a foul ball and get back after it," Chavez said.
Strong gusts of wind knocked some high fly balls down early in the game, but it was relatively still by the time the Rangers scored four runs off Chavez, who sarcastically wondered if a little more wind could have saved him from his fate.
"It was swirling for a bit, and then it just kind of calmed down toward the end," Chavez said. "I needed it to swirl a little more in that fifth."
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas.