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Nolasco continues to search for consistency

Angels starter tagged for 5 runs in first inning of 6-2 loss
MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Friday night was not Ricky Nolasco's best. The 34-year-old right-hander yielded five runs during the top of the first inning of the Angels' 6-2 loss to the Red Sox, digging the Halos an early hole.

But Nolasco didn't sulk in his misfortune after the defeat.

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ANAHEIM -- Friday night was not Ricky Nolasco's best. The 34-year-old right-hander yielded five runs during the top of the first inning of the Angels' 6-2 loss to the Red Sox, digging the Halos an early hole.

But Nolasco didn't sulk in his misfortune after the defeat.

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"What are you gonna do?" he said. "Wear it."

The onslaught began when Mookie Betts doubled on the fifth pitch of the game, followed by singles by Andrew Benintendi, Mitch Moreland, Hanley Ramirez, Xander Bogaerts and a double by Jackie Bradley Jr. to surge Boston ahead, 5-0.

"I felt pretty good the whole game," Nolasco said. "First inning, a lot of balls found some holes. You can't do anything but wear it."

As to why the Red Sox managed to have their way with Nolasco, there wasn't much of an answer from Nolasco and his manager, Mike Scioscia, They agreed he was, for the most part, making his pitches and hitting his spots. The result, however, didn't fall his way, adding to an inconsistent season for the 12-year veteran. In his last outing on Sunday, Nolasco held the Rays to one run on two hits over seven innings. He's now 4-11 with a 5.13 ERA

Scioscia credited the Red Sox for their ability to use the entire field and for staying on top of Nolasco throughout the opening frame.

"That set the tone for the game," Scioscia said.

But as quickly as the barrage began Friday evening, it quickly subsided. Nolasco retired eight straight batters across the second and third innings. He gave up one more run before his night ended after tossing four innings, permitting six runs on nine hits, no walks and one strikeout. It marked his second-shortest start of the year.

Said Nolasco: "I just tried to stay as positive as I could and get as deep as I could. I don't think the strike zone was an issue. They just kind of hit some balls where people weren't, so not much you can do there. Just keep trying to make pitches."

Scioscia said the right-hander managed to find his release point, but the recovery was made a bit too late.

"[He] made some pitches, and for a while was on a bit of roll," Scioscia said. "But we were, obviously, pretty far behind at that point."

As for bearing the result, Nolasco is no stranger to the feeling. However, a lesson taught to him by past teammates Mark Buerhle and Javier Vazquez helps him maintain the same disposition in the aftermath of both disappointing and successful outings: Stay positive and be the same guy.

"It's baseball," said Nolasco. "You just keep trying to make pitches. [It's] just the way the game goes."

Kaelen Jonesis a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Angels, Ricky Nolasco