Miscues costly for Rangers on difficult day
Early errors derail Texas to 1 1/2 games back in AL West
ANAHEIM -- Saturday was not one of the Rangers' best days this season.
In the morning, news broke that left-hander Matt Harrison would need another surgery. In the afternoon, Oakland extended its lead in the American League West with a win over the Astros, and to cap off the night, the Rangers committed four errors in an 8-3 loss at Angel Stadium.
The Rangers, now 1 1/2 games back in the AL West race, are 1-4 on their six-game West Coast road trip and have lost three consecutive games for the first time since losing four straight from July 25-28.
"We're not going to worry about it," starting pitcher Derek Holland said. "It is what it is right now, we know. We're just going to keep grinding it out. Our pitching is going to get going again. Myself, I've had a couple bad starts here and there, I'm not going to worry about this. I'm going to turn the page."
Adrian Beltre broke an 0-for-13 slump with an RBI single to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first, but it was downhill from there.
The defense certainly had its faults, but Holland -- who is winless in a season-high six consecutive starts -- struggled to get outs as the Angels tagged him for eight runs (four earned) on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
"I didn't pitch very well," Holland said. "I'm very disappointed with the way that I performed. Those guys put up some runs there on the board for me, and I disappointed a lot of people -- our fans and my teammates -- for not doing my job. I know I'm a better pitcher than I've been performing for the last two to three outings."
Holland's troubles began right away as the first batter he faced, J.B. Shuck, hit a soft roller up the line that Holland fielded and threw away.
Shuck reached second on the play, advanced to third on a groundout and scored when Beltre committed the Rangers' second error of the inning. Mark Trumbo followed with his 31st home run of the season, a two-run blast that gave the Angels a lead they would not relinquish.
The second inning began with the Rangers' third error in seven batters -- this one a fielding mishap by Elvis Andrus -- and the Angels tacked on another run.
"It got off bad," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Pitcher makes one [error], the third baseman makes one, then the shortstop makes one. Each and every one of them wasn't fielding their position. It's just one of those things."
The Angels' offense did not subside, scoring once again in the third and three times in the sixth before Holland gave way to the bullpen.
"On the offensive side, we're probably a more situational team right now, so we have to take advantage of that," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We got some big two-out hits with runners in scoring position tonight, put the ball in play when we had to and Trumbo hit the home run to give us some early runs. We have to keep playing baseball, use whatever speed we have and hopefully keep the game on our terms and be able to hold leads."
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski misplayed a popup in the eighth for Texas' fourth error of the night, but he responded with a solo shot -- his 17th home run of the season -- to lead off the ninth.
The Rangers' pitching staff has allowed 33 hits and 25 runs (20 earned) in the past three games, but Washington is not ready to hit the panic button.
"We're just not getting the job done and they're certainly very capable," Washington said. "We're only a game and a half out, we're not going anyplace. We'll be around. You go through those type of stretches, you hate to have them happen in September."