All that power the Angels generated on an East Coast trip seemed to have dissipated on the flight home.
After they put on a hitting clinic with 14 home runs against the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals, the Angels managed five hits in a 5-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on Monday at Angel Stadium.
It wasn’t for a lack of action. The Angels threatened in the eighth and ninth innings, but their trademark rallying style ended on an Albert Pujols groundout.
“We had opportunities,” Kole Calhoun said. “This team has come through lately with those opportunities, and it just didn’t happen tonight.”
The opener of a four-game series featured Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre hitting a three-run home run and starter Cole Hamels (9-1) holding the Angels to two runs and three hits to win a matchup of left-handers.
The Angels’ Tyler Skaggs (1-4) made his first appearance since being reinstated from the bereavement list because of the death of a grandfather and gave up all five runs.
“Just a poor performance today,” Skaggs said. “This loss is on me. I really wanted to go out there and make a good start for my team, and right from the first batter, it wasn’t meant to be.”
The first two batters reached base against Skaggs, but he gave up only one run in the first inning. He ran into trouble in the third inning by giving up two hits, including a run-scoring double off the wall by Shin-Soo Choo that just missed Cameron Maybin’s glove, and a hit batsman.
Skaggs threw a 1-and-1 pitch that Beltre hit over the 390-foot marker on the left field wall for a 5-1 lead.
“I wanted to go outside and I left it in the middle,” Skaggs said. “When you’re going to the Hall of Fame, you’re not going to miss those pitches.”
It was a familiar sight for the Angels as Beltre’s 43 home runs are the fourth-most by an opposing batter.
“He adapts, he’s a veteran player [and] he still has a tremendous skill set,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Eight of the Angels’ 37 come-from-behind victories have come in August, and they looked poised to add to that when they loaded the bases in the eighth inning on walks by Maybin, C.J Cron and Andrelton Simmons before Jefry Marte grounded out.
Reliever Jesse Chavez worked a three-strikeout ninth inning and the Angels put two runners on before Mike Trout blooped a run-scoring single, but Pujols grounded out to end it.
Ramirez and Bailey are put on the DL
JC Ramirez was put on the disabled list because of a right elbow strain. The results of an MRI exam were not announced.
Ramirez left his last start because of tightness in his right forearm and it was thought to be precautionary but the Angels will lose their innings-pitched leader for at least 10 days, retroactive to Sunday. He became a starter this season and had not pitched more than 782/3 innings in a season in the majors.
“You never know where a guy is, if there’s an end point somewhere, but he had rebounded from every start very well [and] really had no issues along these lines,” Scioscia said.
Andrew Bailey also was put on the DL because of a right shoulder strain in another setback to a mostly lost season.
Bailey was activated Aug.11 after he sat out four months because of a shoulder issue.
Scioscia said the injury happened recently, after Bailey’s Aug.15 appearance.
Garrett Richards (biceps strain) will do another three-inning simulated game of about 40 pitches Friday in Arizona, Scioscia said. … Left-hander Jose Alvarez was recalled from triple A.