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Ramirez upbeat after roughest start of career

Angels righty surrenders three homers, exits after 4 1/3
MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Friday night served as a lesson for Angels starting pitcher JC Ramirez, who was on the losing end of the Angels' 11-5 defeat to Minnesota at Angel Stadium. 

The subject of Friday's lesson: Not every outing -- even games you feel good about -- will go your way.

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ANAHEIM -- Friday night served as a lesson for Angels starting pitcher JC Ramirez, who was on the losing end of the Angels' 11-5 defeat to Minnesota at Angel Stadium. 

The subject of Friday's lesson: Not every outing -- even games you feel good about -- will go your way.

View Full Game Coverage

Ramirez was pulled following a season-low 4 1/3 innings after he conceded seven runs on eight hits with no walks and three strikeouts. 

The defeat ended what had been a nice stretch for the 28-year-old, who was in positive spirits afterward.

"I think tonight, that's the best I've felt," Ramirez said. "Sinker was down, slider was sharp. They got me today. It's not going to be every outing, seven innings, two runs or less. I feel really good. Just … it happened. They hit it. They were able to hit my stuff today."

The visitors pounced on Ramirez early, something the native Nicaraguan has struggled with as a starter. Ramirez's first-inning ERA entering Friday was 10.00; aside from his eighth-inning ERA split (7.71), no other inning surpassed 3.68. The Twins sustained their early effort, tagging Ramirez for three two-run homers in the game's first three innings.

"JC didn't look like he had his edge early," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "He was missing some counts, missing getting his breaking stuff into the game early."

Ramirez credited the Twins for hitting pitches, even though he was locating them where he wanted. 

"They're good hitters," Ramirez said of the Twins, who collected 15 hits on the night. "They were able to hit my stuff tonight. … Nothing I could do about it."

Through seven starts prior to Friday, Ramirez had posted a 3-1 record. His 2.35 ERA over that same period ranked second in the American League behind Houston's Lance McCullers Jr., who was voted AL Pitcher of the Month in May. In fact, Ramirez had picked up wins in each of his previous two starts, and over his last three outings he had posted a 2-0 record along with a 1.74 ERA (four runs allowed through 20 2/3 innings). 

"Not every time is going to work for me," he said.

Ramirez has been a pleasant surprise for Los Angeles this season. He had made 111 career appearances in the Major Leagues as a reliever prior to making his first career start on April 14. He said it was tough not being able to go deep into Friday's contest, but understands all he can do it simply put it behind him and move forward.

"Just forget about it, go to bed, close my eyes, don't think about it too much, [and wake up] the next day," he said.

Kaelen Jones is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Angels, JC Ramirez