Holding a 3-0 lead midway through the third inning, the Los Angeles Angels were in decent shape to grab a victory in the series finale against the Texas Rangers. Michael Lorenzen had been perfect through two, but he ran into a problem in the third frame.
Lorenzen walked the leadoff batter on five pitches, opening the door for the Rangers. And it was Marcus Semien who ultimately made the Angels pay with a two-out double that scored the runner from first and put the Rangers on the board.
The 30-year old Angels starter again bounced back with perfect fourth and fifth innings. But in the sixth, he again surrendered a leadoff walk. Leody Taveras reached first on the free pass, and Semien brought him to second with a single.
This was it for Lorenzen, who ultimately finished with 5.0 innings pitched and three runs earned on two hits and two walks after Aaron Loup allowed both runners to score to tie the game at three. Lorenzen spoke about what went right and wrong for him in his third start since returning from the IL, according to Arianna Vedia of MLB.com:
“There was some good and some bad,” Lorenzen said. “I feel good about it, but, you know, I couldn’t keep the team in it long enough.
“I felt really good about the game plan. [Catcher] Kurt [Suzuki] did a really good job back there. It’s just, the leadoff walks are going to kill you. Both of them came in to score, and I think if I’m just on top of my game a little more for the first hitter, this outing is a lot different.”
But the leadoff walk issues did not end with Lorenzen. Jose Quijada — who took the mound in the eighth inning — walked Semien on five pitches to set up a potential go-ahead RBI situation for Corey Seager. The All-Star shortstop delivered, hitting a two-run home run to make it 5-3 and seal the win for Texas.
Leadoff walks were the story of the finale for the Angels, who dropped two of three in this series and continue to struggle against the Rangers this season.
Errors plague Angels in Wednesday’s loss
The Angels found two completely unique ways to lose during their three-game stop in Texas. On Thursday, it was leadoff walks that led to all five Rangers runs. But on Wednesday, it was two critical errors that allowed runs to score and put the game completely out of reach.