ARLINGTON -- Statcast™ showed that Mitch Moreland's wicked eighth-inning line drive came off the bat at 109 mph.But the ball hit reliever Fernando Salas on his right arm and dropped conveniently at his feet. Salas was able to recover to throw Moreland out at first, the Rangers' rally died, and
ARLINGTON -- Statcast™ showed that Mitch Moreland's wicked eighth-inning line drive came off the bat at 109 mph.
But the ball hit reliever Fernando Salas on his right arm and dropped conveniently at his feet. Salas was able to recover to throw Moreland out at first, the Rangers' rally died, and the Angels held on for a 2-0 victory at Globe Life Park on Monday.
"I was just trying to go up there and put the barrel on the ball," Moreland said. "My aim was not good. I've got to work on that tomorrow."
It was a rough night for Moreland and the Rangers' offense as they managed seven hits and three walks against five Angels pitchers, including starter Nick Tropeano. But they were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, left nine runners on base and were shut out for the third time this season.
The eighth inning was the nadir of the Rangers' offensive frustration. Bobby Wilson led off with an infield single against Salas and, after Rougned Odor popped out, Ian Desmond singled and Prince Fielder walked to load the bases.
That brought up Adrian Beltre and Moreland, sitting fourth and fifth in the Rangers' order.
"The right guys," manager Jeff Banister said.
Beltre worked a 2-2 count, then hit a broken-bat line drive up the middle. Angels second baseman Johnny Giavotella was playing up the middle and made a diving catch for the second out.
"I'm thinking I need to get there, and any way that I needed to get there, I was willing to do it," Giovatella said. "It was probably a questionable dive, but something I felt like I had to do just to secure it. I brought it into my glove just to make sure that ball wasn't getting to the outfield."
Beltre entered the game hitting .391 with runners in scoring position, fourth best in the American League. The Rangers liked their chances there.
"He's the leader of this ballclub on the field and a guy who's a challenge to strike out and puts the ball in play," Banister said. "You know he's going to play hard. Obviously, a clean play by Giavotella with a diving stop on a ball up the middle, not hit extremely hard, but he makes the play there. We'll take our shot with Beltre at the plate any time."
That brought up Moreland, who had struck out in his first two at-bats. He came in the seventh and lined out to first baseman Albert Pujols, another shot that was clocked by Statcast™ at 109 mph.
Moreland's velocity stayed consistent in the eighth-inning at-bat.
"It goes where it goes," Moreland said. "Sometimes you don't hit it good and it falls in. Tonight wasn't one of those nights, maybe tomorrow will be."
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.