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Rangers get the better of Angels pitcher Julio Teheran

Angels pitcher Julio Teheran throws to a Texas Rangers batter.
Angels pitcher Julio Teheran was strong through four innings, but a bloop double in the fifth led to his undoing.
(Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

Angels starter Julio Teheran ran into hard luck in a 7-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.

Before the Rangers tagged him for five runs and six hits in 42/3 innings, the right-hander whose season was delayed by a bout with COVID-19 had begun to look more like the pitcher who compiled a 3.64 ERA from 2013 to 2019 with the Atlanta Braves.

“I started feeling like I got my stuff [back],” Teheran said after holding the San Diego Padres, one of baseball’s most prolific offenses, to two runs last week. In his previous start, he gave up only three runs to the Houston Astros.

For four innings Wednesday, Teheran looked on the verge of continuing his streak. He faced three batters above the minimum but limited the damage to Nick Solak’s hard-hit RBI single in the fourth. He struck out four as he went, retaining a 2-1 advantage.

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Angels catching coach Jose Molina didn’t pass on the opportunity to wear the No. 21 in Clemente’s honor on Wednesday in Arlington, Texas.

A one-out bloop double in the fifth inning turned the tide.

Anderson Tejeda skied a ball over the left side of the infield. As it began to fall near the third-base line, third baseman Anthony Rendon and left fielder Matt Thaiss, who was in the midst of his first professional start in the outfield, converged on the ball. Rendon peeled off at the last second. The ball hit the turf in front of Thaiss, who scooped it and threw it to second base. He barely missed throwing out Tejeda.

“I thought the ball just dropped in,” Maddon said. “Anthony’s [shifted] over, he has a long run to go. I did not hear Matty call him off. That’s one of those that a guy just can’t [hit] it to a better spot. … If you’re looking to blame Matt Thaiss for that, I wouldn’t do that.”

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Another double followed, this one on a line toward the left-field corner. It scored Tejeda and tied the score 2-2. Teheran then issued a walk on five pitches, gave up another bloop hit and watched the Rangers take a 3-2 lead on a sacrifice fly.

The Rangers weren’t clubbing his pitches. So Teheran expected to get a chance to coax the inning’s final out from Joey Gallo, whom Teheran held to weak contact in two at-bats.

Maddon instead summoned left-handed reliever Hoby Milner, who was reinstated from the 10-day injured list a day earlier, to face the left-handed-hitting Gallo.

Players around the MLB on Wednesday will be wearing No. 21 in honor of Roberto Clemente Day. Here’s what you need to know about the Hall of Famer.

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Gallo won the matchup. He knocked a run-scoring single through the nearly empty left side of the infield. The Rangers eventually built a 7-2 advantage, cashing in most of their runs with two outs.

And the Angels saw their already slim playoff chances slip further into the drain.

“All I try to do when I get in trouble when I get in those situations, is just keep making pitches,” Teheran said. “And I didn’t stop doing that. That’s one of the reasons I feel I could have stayed in the game and fought through that situation right there. But that’s something I don’t have control over.”


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