The Los Angeles Angels have notably struggled with teams in the American League West in recent years. It had mainly been the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics, but in 2022, the Texas Rangers can be added to that list. After a three-game series this week, the Angels dropped to 6-10 against the Rangers this season.
Despite winning the series opener, the Angels couldn’t get out of their own way in their pursuit of winning the mid-week set. Errors, walks, and a lack of offensive production plagued L.A., with each game carrying its own distinct issues.
Of course, with only 12 games left in the season and the Angels sitting 20 games below .500, wins and losses are irrelevant to the final outcome of the year. But good habits can be built at any time, and the Halos struggled to do that on the front end of the road trip.
Here, we break down each game and what went right and wrong for the Angels as the final stretch of the season continues.
Game 1: Angels def. Rangers 5-2
Patrick Sandoval earned his sixth win of the season with another solid start on the mound. While he did give up a season-high-tying four walks, he limited damage in other ways, allowing just two runs on three hits while striking out seven.
The Angels and Rangers went back and forth for the first five innings, but the Halos pulled away with a rally in the sixth. This started with a single from Shohei Ohtani, who would score on the next batter via a Taylor Ward double.
It didn’t end there, as Matt Duffy brought Ward to third with a single. Mike Ford and Jo Adell each singled to score Ward and Duffy, making it 5-2. But the rally would come to an abrupt end when Max Stassi grounded into a triple play, the Angels first since 2018.
The bullpen would hold firm from there, allowing just two combined hits but forcing double plays following both.
Game 2: Rangers def. Angels 7-2
Ward got the scoring started early for the Angels in the second game of the series, hitting a two-run home run in the first inning. However, that would be the only runs of the day for the Halos, who struggled to keep the Rangers offense quiet.
Tucker Davidson had one of the better starts of his career after having his most recent start postponed while he worked on a new pitch delivery. The goal of the new wind-up was to limit walks and throw more strikes. This worked to perfection, as Davidson didn’t allow any walks in a start for the first time in his career.
Davidson did, however, give up a run in each of the first three innings, totaling three runs on five hits in 5.0 innings of work. But it was two major errors that allowed the Rangers to really cement their lead and stay ahead.
The critical one was a throwing error by Zack Weiss in the eighth inning that allowed three runs to score, making it 7-2 and putting the game firmly out of reach in the ninth.
Game 3: Rangers def. Angels 5-3
All five of the runs given up by the Angels in the series finale came after a leadoff walk, becoming the major topic of discussion for Michael Lorenzen and Jose Quijada. Lorenzen was flawless in the first, second, fourth, and fifth innings.
But in the third and sixth, he allowed leadoff walks that eventually turned into runs, leaving him with three earned runs on two hits and two walks in 5.0 innings. It was still a strong start for Lorenzen, in his third appearance since returning from the IL, but he exited with a no-decision.
The Halos scored all three of their runs in the third inning via a two-run double from Mike Trout and a one-run single by Ward. But the Rangers would claw their way back.
And in the eighth inning, Quijada would allow a leadoff walk, followed by a two-run home run from Corey Seager to give the Rangers a 5-3 lead and the win.
Now, the Angels head to Minneapolis to face the Minnesota Twins in their second-to-last road series of 2022.