ANAHEIM -- One by one, the Angels pitchers took the field. One by one, the Rangers batters returned to the dugout.Two days after their own bullpen game, the Rangers saw first-hand just how effective the concept can be on Tuesday night, when they were held without a hit for 7
ANAHEIM -- One by one, the Angels pitchers took the field. One by one, the Rangers batters returned to the dugout.
Two days after their own bullpen game, the Rangers saw first-hand just how effective the concept can be on Tuesday night, when they were held without a hit for 7 1/3 innings in a 1-0 defeat to the Angels.
The Rangers were nearly no-hit for the first time since 2007, but that one was a one-man show by the Chicago White Sox Mark Buehrle. The Angels used eight pitchers in this one.
"When you get [relievers] coming out, and they know they're facing maybe three hitters only in a gas-pedal-down situation, they know that and they are attacking early," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It makes it challenging on hitters."
Angels pitchers walked three, but otherwise the pitcher procession was effective. Noe Ramirez (5-5) did what could be considered the heavy lifting with 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out three and was in the game when the Angels took the lead in the second inning on the first career home run from Jose Fernandez.
The Rangers' Isiah Kiner-Falefa broke up the no-hit bit with a single to right field against the Angels' seventh pitcher, right-hander Richard Parker. Two batters later, Rougned Odor singled to right to put runners on the corners and Parker was removed.
The Rangers nearly scored when Profar hit a ball toward third base, but third baseman Kaleb Cowart made a sliding stop and throw to first to end the threat.
"The energy was still there in the dugout and these guys were still grinding out at-bats," Banister said. "It's a tough situation when a team runs a bullpen game at you and you're seeing good arms coming out of their bullpen. You never can get settled in, but our guys stayed in it and we battled."
The Angels' group effort overshadowed the triumphant return to the starting rotation for Rangers right-hander Adrian Sampson. It was just the second career start for Sampson, and his first since 2016, when he opened a game for the Mariners. He was injured warming up for his second start and underwent surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon a short time later.
Sampson went five strong innings, only giving up Fernandez's home run. He allowed one run on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts, throwing 78 pitches.
"Every day up here is a precious thing," Sampson said. "But being healthy is the most important part. You can't be helping the team out if you're on the sideline or in Arizona rehabbing. Every day is a blessing."
Sampson retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced after Fernandez's home run, with the only Angels baserunner in that stretch coming when he hit Michael Trout with a pitch on the left shoulder.
Rangers relievers also got into the no-hit act. C.D. Pelham, Eddie Butler and Martin Perez followed Sampson with a combined three no-hit innings.
"Listen, you can't talk about Sampson and not talk about what Pelham did, what Perez was able to do; Butler got the two hitters he was slated to get," Banister said. "I felt like our entire staff pitched very well. I thought their entire staff pitched very well. There were a number of guys on that field tonight that seemed to be in control of what they wanted to do on the mound."
The four Rangers pitchers carried an ERA higher than 5.00 into the game, but held the Angels to one run on two hits.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Super utility man Drew Robinson showed off his comfort level in center field, tormenting the Angels' Andrelton Simmons twice in the early innings.
Robinson went up against the center-field wall in the second inning to track down Simmons' deep drive and ran down another one from Simmons on the warning track in the fourth.
Of course Odor had one of the two hits against the Angels on Tuesday. Odor has 13 hits in 43 at-bats against the Angels this season for a .302 average. His hit Tuesday was a single, but he also has two doubles and a home run against the Rangers' division rival.
HE SAID IT
"As long as I made it through the warmups I was happy. I threw four or five pitches in warmups at Detroit [in 2016] and that's when I felt it go, so just getting through it all and being able to compete is what I loved most about this game." -- Sampson
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Angels' Joe Hudson appeared to sneak into first base in the fifth inning, but the call was overturned in favor of the Rangers after a review. Hudson hit a ground ball to shortstop and Elvis Andrus' high throw took first baseman Jurickson Profar off the bag. But replay showed that Profar reached down to apply the tag in time on a diving Hudson to end the fifth inning.
Rangers right-hander Yovani Gallardo (8-4, 6.22 ERA) will enter his start Wednesday just 1-3 over his last five outings, but he still has eight victories since June 23, thanks to a 7-1 run. He is coming off a five-walk outing at Oakland on Friday. The Angels will counter with right-hander Felix Pena (2-4, 4.04 ERA) in the 9:07 p.m. CT start from Angel Stadium.
Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.