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Nolasco takes loss in first start vs. former club

Angels right-hander satisfied with start despite a 'couple mistakes'
MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Several Angels starting pitchers have been stung by home runs this season. It cost them again Sunday, when right-hander Ricky Nolasco was touched for two home runs during the Halos' 3-2 loss to the Twins.

"I felt really good," Nolasco said. "It comes down to a couple mistakes there. Just gotta keep trying to make pitches."

ANAHEIM -- Several Angels starting pitchers have been stung by home runs this season. It cost them again Sunday, when right-hander Ricky Nolasco was touched for two home runs during the Halos' 3-2 loss to the Twins.

"I felt really good," Nolasco said. "It comes down to a couple mistakes there. Just gotta keep trying to make pitches."

Nolasco said he was unfazed, despite facing the Twins for the first time since they traded him to the Angels in 2015. He began his outing strong, allowing one hit to the first eight batters, retiring two via strikeout and five on groundouts.

Then, Minnesota catcher Jason Castro drilled a no-doubt solo shot over the right-field wall in the third inning to put Minnesota ahead, 1-0. Nolasco struck out his seventh batter of the contest before Miguel Sano mashed a two-run homer to give the Twins a 3-2 lead in the sixth.

"Slider was supposed to be away, stayed up," Nolasco recalled of Sano's at-bat. "Kid is strong enough [that] once he puts a swing on it, it's bound to go."

The home run marked the 18th Nolasco has surrendered this season, which only trails Bronson Arroyo for most in the Majors, at 19.

"A couple mistakes," said manager Mike Scioscia of Nolasco's performance. "He battled like he always does."

Nolasco pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. He fanned seven batters and hit one batter.

Scioscia felt he did enough.

"I think when he needed the big pitches, he did," Scioscia said. "There's no doubt that he was missing some spots… He kept us in the game."

The Angels had an opportunity to add to a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth with the bases loaded and no outs, but a strikeout and a double play stymied the effort. Despite the offense's inability to come through for him Sunday, Nolasco was positive about his performance afterward.

"It's baseball," he said. "At the end of the day, I just do what I can do: Eat up innings and give us a chance to win, just keep grinding."

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