ARLINGTON, Texas — Following a night where the starting pitcher gave up only one run and the bullpen combined for four perfect innings, Texas Rangers pitching performed on the opposite end of the spectrum on Tuesday night.
The Rangers were shellacked by the Los Angeles Angels by a score of 11-3, evening the four-game series at one game apiece. The Rangers only used four pitchers in the game, with three of the four giving up at least one run.
Starter Jordan Lyles was able to get to 110 pitches, but was throttled for six runs in just 5 2/3 innings. Dennis Santana was able to come in and put out the fire for Lyles in the sixth inning, but failed to record an out when he went out for the seventh. Santana was charged with four runs (three earned) in the frame.
Brett Martin was the lone Rangers pitcher who turned in a clean sheet, logging two scoreless innings.
In all fairness, Lyles' final line could have been much better. With two outs in the third inning, Lyles got Phil Gosselin to ground to shortstop, but Isiah Kiner-Falefa struggled to get the ball out of his glove quick enough to nab Gosselin at first base. A run scored on the play, then Lyles gave up a two-run double to Jo Adell, which gave the Angels a lead they would never surrender.
Rangers manager Chris Woodward said the play was a situation where Kiner-Falefa got caught in between decisions, which ended up costing them runs.
"That third inning, we probably should have helped [Lyles] out. Should have been out of the inning there," Woodward said. "[Kiner-Falefa] was wondering if he could have gotten the out at second. That's obviously a situation where Izzy's gotta be heads up. ... He said he didn't get a grip on the ball. That's kind of why he double-pumped. At that point, you've just gotta throw the ball."
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The Rangers weren't able to muster much at the plate, racking up only six hits on the night. One of them was a two-run homer by Andy Ibáñez, who has been continuously impressing Chris Woodward and the coaching staff.
However, Ibáñez's bat is not the only reason why his stock is on the rise. He has been turning in some stellar defensive work at second base. For the second time in less than a week, Ibáñez nabbed a runner on a strong relay throw. In addition, Ibáñez flashed the leather with a slick play behind the second base bag for the second night in a row.
Chris Woodward has preached all season that performance will dictate playing time. In his postgame meeting with the media, Woodward said that Ibáñez has been the team's "most consistent" player. Although Woodward did not want to fully commit to saying that Ibáñez is now an everyday player, he did admit that he's making strides toward that goal.
"If he's our best at-bat, of course he'e gonna be in there [everyday]," Woodward said. "The way he's playing second base, I feel really comfortable with him out there right now. But he's gotta earn that. He's just gotta keep producing and having quality at-bats. There's gonna be games where he doesn't get a hit, but he's still putting good swings on good pitches. ... He's doing all the things we ask."
The Rangers (39-68) will look to bounce back in the third game of their four-game series with the Angels (53-54) on Wednesday night. Lefty Kolby Allard (2-9, 5.23 ERA) will take the mound for Texas and square off with two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani (5-1, 3.04 ERA).
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