Garrett Richards threw his best game in three years, Mike Trout fell a double shy of a cycle, and the Angels had absolutely nothing to show for it Saturday night. The Texas Rangers dinged the Angels’ bullpen for runs in the ninth and 10th innings to pull out a 3-2 come-from-behind victory in Angel Stadium.
“We’re a team — we win as a team and lose as a team,” Richards said after giving up one hit, one unearned run and striking out nine in seven innings. “This one hurts for everybody.”
The fact that Rougned Odor, the villain from the night before, scored the winning run made it sting even more for the 44,603 fans who booed the Rangers second baseman loudly before each of his four at-bats.
Odor singled to right off Angels left-hander Jose Alvarez with one out in the 10th. Robinson Chirinos walked, and Ronald Guzman grounded a single to left fielder Justin Upton, who made a strong one-hop throw home.
But Odor beat catcher Martin Maldonado’s tag with a head-first slide for a 3-2 lead, and Keone Kola retired the side in the order in the bottom of the 10th, with Trout flying out to center to end the game.
The Rangers tied the score 2-2 in the ninth on a controversial and confusing play that had many in the stadium thinking the game was over.
With Texas trailing 2-1, Jurickson Profar doubled to left-center off Angels reliever Blake Parker with one out and took third on a wild pitch. Nomar Mazara walked and was replaced by pinch-runner Carlos Tocci.
Adrian Beltre lifted a fly to deep left to score Profar, who picked up his pace when he saw Tocci tag from first. Upton threw out Tocci at second, and after a replay review, umpires ruled Profar touched the plate before the tag at second, so the run counted.
“That’s a timing play,” Angels manager Mike Scio-scia said. “They got the call right.”
The late run robbed Richards, who was limited by elbow and shoulder injuries to six starts in each of the past two seasons, of a win.
Richards looked nothing like the pitcher who gave up three runs and five walks in 21/3 innings of last Sunday’s 3-1 loss in Yankee Stadium. He mixed his 97-mph fastball and nasty slider with a more aggressive approach. He was so dominant he retired 17 straight batters after Shin-Soo Choo’s game-opening single.
“It’s just going right at guys, trying not to think too much, trying to get strike one, to command counts, pitch in bottom half of the zone and make guys hit my pitch,” Richards said. “I think it’s just a mentality thing.
“My stuff has been the same for seven years. It’s getting back in the zone, competing, not trying to nitpick too much. Once the ball leaves my hand, it’s out of my control, so try not to think too much.”
Trout gave the Angels a 1-0 lead in the first with his major league-leading 19th homer, off Texas left-hander Cole Hamels. He tripled off Joey Gallo’s glove in left in the third, singled in the sixth and popped to first in the eighth.
Ian Kinsler increased the lead to 2-0 in the sixth when he clanged a solo homer off the left-field foul pole.
Choo reached on error to open the seventh, took second on a wild pitch, third on a grounder to second and scored on Mazara’s grounder to second to make it 2-1.
Odor drew the ire of fans who were still upset by his aggressive slide into Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons in an attempt to break up a game-ending double play Friday night.
“It was an unfortunate incident, but it’s past us,” Scioscia said before the game. “There was a little bit of veer on the slide. The only exception you can take is the fact that Simba got spiked. But it’s water under the bridge.”
Simmons was hit in the lower left leg by a Hamels cut fastball in the second inning. He had a chance for revenge on Odor after he drew a one-out walk in the fourth. Shohei Ohtani hit a grounder up the middle that Profar, the Rangers shortstop, made a diving stop of before flipping to Odor at second.
Simmons slid low and hard as Odor threw late to first, but Simmons’ slide took him well past the bag, a violation of the rule that states runners must be able to maintain contact with the bag. Interference was ruled , and Texas was awarded the double play.