Defense just misses stopping big inning
Three close plays in six-run second help Angels pull away
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' defense did not provide as much support as it could for pitcher Anthony Ranaudo in the Angels' six-run second inning of Wednesday's 10-2 setback.
There were no errors committed. There were just three near-misses on plays that could have stopped the rally before it reached six runs.
The game was scoreless when the Angels loaded the bases with one out. Johnny Giavotella followed with a fly to left-center, and Leonys Martin, racing over from right-center, just missed making a diving catch.
"I was playing the other way and he just hit it in the right spot," Martin said. "I did my best. At the last second, the ball moved away. It was like a knuckleball. Weird."
Two runs scored on the play, leaving the Angels with Collin Cowgill at second, Giavotella at first and Erick Aybar at the plate. On a 1-0 pitch, Aybar swung and missed, and Cowgill strayed too far off second base.
Catcher Carlos Corporan fired down to second, but Cowgill broke for third. Shortstop Elvis Andrus slipped as he went to make the throw, and Cowgill was able to dive in with a stolen base.
"You might have to tip your hat to the baserunner," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "I'm not sure he didn't bait us into throwing down to second. That's a play we have in our playbook, too. If Elvis doesn't slip, we get the out."
Cowgill scored on Aybar's safety squeeze, leaving the Angels with two outs and a runner on second. Ranaudo then walked Mike Trout. That brought up Albert Pujols, who hit a grounder up the middle. Andrus appeared to get there in time, but he didn't get his glove down. It went for a single that brought home Giavotella.
"That's a ranging play that we've seen Elvis make before," Banister said.
Matt Joyce followed with a two-run double to make it 6-0, and the Rangers did not threaten the rest of the game.