ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Cole Hamels’ control eluded him on Sunday, and the Texas Rangers saw their four-game winning streak come to an end with a 9-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Hamels pitched five innings, the shortest of his 19 regular-season and postseason starts for Texas following his acquisition last July 31. He allowed four runs on seven hits and a season-high four walks. Three of the walks came in the Angels’ three-run fifth.
“I’ve really got to challenge them,” said Hamels, who made his first start since April 20 after skipping one with soreness in his left groin. “Even though they are a good team, you just have to make them earn the bases.”
Hamels said he felt fine but lost command of his two-seam fastball.
“It was moving in a couple different directions on my release point,” he said.
“The four walks, obviously, not the command he’s used to,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said, “but most of the misses were small.”
It was the Rangers’ second loss in Hamels’ 12 home starts with Texas and the first since his Rangers home debut last Aug. 1.
Kole Calhoun got three hits and drove in two runs as the Angels avoided a series sweep.
Greg Mahle (1-0), a 23-year-old rookie, was the first of five Los Angeles relievers and pitched a scoreless fifth inning to pick up his first major league win.
Tom Wilhemsen (1-2) took the loss.
Angels starter Garrett Richards worked only four innings because of dehydration and cramping. He gave up four runs, only one of them earned after his throwing error. The short outing came after Matt Shoemaker lasted only 2 1-3 innings in his start Saturday night.
Mahle, Mike Morin, Jose Alvarez and Fernando Salas combined for four scoreless innings. Joe Smith allowed two runs in the ninth in a non-save situation.
“Can’t say enough about our bullpen,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. “They keep taking the ball. These guys are picking up the slack.”
Texas scored three times in the fourth. Trying to start a double play with no outs, Richards threw between shortstop Andrelton Simmons, standing on second base, and third baseman Yunel Escobar, a few steps to Simmons’ right, into center field.
Ian Desmond had multiple hits for the sixth time in his last 12 games. He has hit .390 during that stretch after hitting .091 in his first 12 games for Texas.
Texas OF Shin-Soo Choo (right calf) will accompany the team on this week’s seven-game trip to Toronto and Detroit. Banister said the hope is that Choo can begin light baserunning and hitting. Choo hit .188 in the Rangers’ first five games before being placed on the disabled list.
RETURN TO SCENE OF 2015 FINISH
The Rangers’ four-game series in Toronto starting Monday will be their first appearance there since losing a bizarre Game 5 of the AL Division Series last October, 6-3. Fans threw objects onto the field after an umpire’s ruling went against the Blue Jays, and the Rangers committed infield errors on three straight at-bats to aid the Jays’ rally.
Asked if that was a crazy scene, Texas 2B Rougned Odor said he’d seen things like in Caribbean ball. “That happens all the time,” he said.
Angels: OF Craig Gentry (right lumbar spine strain) was put on the disabled list. Robinson was selected for the major league roster from Triple-A Salt Lake.
Rangers: The rehab of OF Josh Hamilton has been halted after he tweaked his left knee on Saturday playing for Double-A Frisco. … RHP Yu Darvish (Tommy John surgery) began his rehab on Sunday pitching two innings for Frisco, with two strikeouts and one walk.
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver (3-0, 3.86) seeks his first 4-0 start since beginning 6-0 in 2011. He starts at Milwaukee.
Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.52) is holding opponents to a .189 batting average. He starts at Toronto.