Patrick Sandoval struggles and Max Scherzer dominates in Angels’ blowout loss

Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval, left, walks off the field with catcher Matt Thaiss
Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval, left, walks off the field while talking to catcher Matt Thaiss during the first inning of a 12-0 loss to the Texas Rangers on Monday.
(Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

Max Scherzer allowed only one infield single and one walk while striking out a season-high 11 in seven innings to record his third win in three Texas starts as the Rangers beat the Angels 12-0 on Monday night.

Marcus Semien had two hits and a season-high five RBIs, including a three-run home run in the seventh inning. Three batters later, Adolis Garcia increased his AL-best RBI total to 91 with a two-run shot that was his 30th of the season.

Scherzer’s strikeouts included his first two career matchups against Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani.


Scherzer (12-4) has given up one run in his last 19 innings after beginning his Rangers career allowing three runs in the first inning Aug. 3 against the Chicago White Sox.

“You enjoy these — don’t get me wrong — but I know what it takes to win at this level,” said Scherzer, whose 3,340 career strikeouts are two short of tying Phil Niekro for 11th place all time. “You’ve got to be on your A game every single time. There isn’t any time to ever let up off the gas. You don’t just make your season off one start. It’s the totality of it.”

Shohei Ohtani hits his 41st home run of the season and Chase Silseth provides a quality start in the Angels’ 2-1 win over the Houston Astros.

Aug. 13, 2023

Mike Moustakas led off Los Angeles’ second inning with a grounder that second baseman Semien dove to his left to stop, but his throw wasn’t in time.

Scherzer’s only walk also came in the second, to Hunter Renfroe with one out. Matt Thaiss then lined into a double play as Scherzer retired the final 16 batters he faced.

Martin Perez followed Scherzer to finish the combined one-hitter, extending the final string of consecutive batters retired to 22.

Scherzer threw 100 pitches with only one inning in which he delivered more than 15.

He struck out all three batters he faced in the first and sixth innings. In the first, he appeared upset when Brandon Drury was called for strike three on a clock violation to end the Angels’ inning.


Scherzer had nine wins with the New York Mets before he was traded to Texas on July 30. His 12 wins tie him with Tampa Bay’s Zach Elfin for the most by any AL pitcher.

The Giants have managed to stay in contention without a superstar this season. How well does this set them up for the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes in the offseason?

Aug. 12, 2023

Texas batted around in the third and seventh innings. Angels pitchers allowed 12 hits, walked eight — one intentionally — and threw two wild pitches through seven innings before infielder Eduardo Escobar pitched the eighth and gave up one unearned run.

The Angels also committed three errors.

Angels manager Phil Nevin said his team lacked focus starting from the opening batter. Nevin connected his lineup’s poor performance with the struggles on the mound and in the field.

“When you have to stand on the field for 25, 30 pitches every half inning on defense, trust me, it’s hard to go up and take a good at-bat, especially against a guy that’s going to the Hall of Fame,” he said.

In Texas’ two-run second inning, Semien had an RBI single with a second run scoring when Angels center fielder Mickey Moniak bobbled the ball.


In the Rangers’ three-run third, one run scored on a bases-loaded walk by Patrick Sandoval (6-9) — his final batter — and another scored on a wild pitch by Griffin Canning, making his first appearance since July 25 after being on the injured list.

Mike Trout not sure when he’ll return

Injured Angels star Mike Trout sits in the dugout
Injured Angels star Mike Trout watches from the dugout during a loss to the Houston Astros on Friday.
(Eric Christian Smith / Associated Press)

Angels star outfielder Mike Trout said Monday he’s improving every day from a fractured left hamate bone that has kept him out of the lineup since July 3, but he said there is no set date for his return.

“I know that it’s just a pain tolerance thing,” Trout said Monday. “Once it gets to a point where it’s bearable, I’ll be out there.”

The three-time AL MVP and 11-time All-Star began taking swings against a hitting machine Friday before the club’s three-game series in Houston. He said he hasn’t yet faced the machine at top velocity.

Trout has been working out in the outfield, saying the injury primarily affects batting.

“Defense right now, every day has been good,” he said. “There are certain movements I do in the outfield where, backhand, where I hit it funny, it acts up a little bit. But nothing’s holding me back on defense. It’s just the swinging part.”


Trout has played in 81 of the Angels’ 119 games, hitting .263 with 18 home runs and 44 RBIs.

The Angels trail first-place Texas by 12½ games in the AL West and are seven games out of the AL’s final wild-card spot.

Shohei Ohtani’s next pitching start

Nevin reiterated that he expects Ohtani to miss only one turn in the starting rotation because of arm fatigue and return next Tuesday or Wednesday at Cincinnati.

His reasoning? “That’s what’s he told us,” Nevin said.

Notes: Texas has faced 11 position players pitching, breaking the major league record set by Atlanta in 2021. ... Semien has a 21-game on-base streak. ... The Rangers’ 71-48 record is the franchise’s best through 119 games. ... The Angels are 59-61, matching a season-worst two games below .500.

Up next: The middle game of the series will match trade-deadline pitching acquisitions as Angels RHP Lucas Giolito (7-8, 4.37 ERA) faces Rangers LHP Jordan Montgomery (7-10, 3.38).