Rodriguez in a mound of trouble at home
Rangers starter blames hill for continued woes in Arlington
ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Wandy Rodriguez said it was the mound that is bothering him here in Arlington.
There must be something bothering him. So far Rodriguez has been a much different pitcher in Arlington than he has been on the road. Pitching at home has been rough for him so far this season, and that continued on Saturday night in a 13-0 loss to the Angels.
"I don't feel comfortable," Rodriguez said. "I need to work on that. I think that is the only thing."
Rodriguez went five innings and gave up five runs on nine hits. He walked three and struck out two. He is now 0-4 with a 7.42 in six starts at home this season. The Rangers have won his two no-decision starts in Arlington but his ERA is the highest at home for any pitcher in the American League.
"Wow … me," Rodriguez said. "I've got four losses at home. I want to win at home. I want to win wherever I can. I'm trying to do the best I can."
The Angels scored three off him in the second inning. Manager Jeff Banister said Rodriguez was able to make an arm angle adjustment later in the game that helped. Rodriguez said that was because he made an adjustment to the mound. But the Rangers had only three hits against Hector Santiago through seven innings and five on the night.
The Rangers have lost five straight at home. They 26-20 on the road but 15-21 at home, leaving them a .500 club overall on the season. Rodriguez is 5-0 with a 2.23 ERA on the road but can't carry that over when he pitches in Arlington.
"He just couldn't get the ball down," Banister said. "He couldn't find his rhythm and his release point and couldn't get his pitches where he wanted them."
Rodriguez's night began similar to Chi Chi Gonzalez's on Friday night. Rodriguez pitched a scoreless first, then found himself in a bases-loaded jam in the second.
The Angels opened the inning with four straight singles from Erick Aybar, David Freese, Chris Iannetta and C.J. Cron to take a 1-0 lead. With the bases still loaded, Rodriguez retired Daniel Robertson on a pop to first but Johnny Giavotella singled home another run and Kole Calhoun gave the Angels a three-run lead with a sacrifice fly.
"Tonight in the second inning I was looking for ground balls," Rodriguez said. "They hit ground balls, but in the hole."
Aybar doubled to lead off the third and ended up scoring on a sacrifice fly by Cron. Calhoun added a home run in the fourth, only the third in 77 at-bats by a left-handed hitter against Rodriguez this season.