ARLINGTON, Texas – Mike Trout homered again on his birthday, but Robinson Chirinos drove in two runs without a hit and the Texas Rangers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
Trout turned 29, and homered for the fifth time in the seven big league games he has played on his birthday.
The three-time AL MVP put the Angels up 2-0 in the first with his 444-foot drive over their bullpen in left-center. It was Trout’s fourth homer in four games since rejoining the team after the birth of his first child, and his fifth overall this season.
“Hit it a long way,” Rangers starter Jordan Lyles said.
Chirinos had a sacrifice fly in the second inning, then walked with the bases loaded as part of a three-run fourth when the Rangers went ahead to stay when all of those runs were unearned.
Lyles (1-1), one of three offseason additions to the Rangers rotation, struck out five in 5 1/3 innings. Rafael Montero, activated from the injured list earlier in the day, worked a perfect ninth and capped his first career save by striking out Trout to end the game — right after his long foul ball just outside the pole down the right field line.
Angels starter Griffin Canning (0-2) threw more balls (45) than strikes (43) while walking six batters in 3 2/3 innings.
“Just kind of one of those nights where I didn't have my release point and couldn’t really get in any type of rhythm," Canning said. “That was pretty much it, pure and simple."
Canning walked three in the fourth, including Chirinos with the bases loaded, then his throw into center field on an attempted pickoff that allowed another run was one of two Los Angeles errors in the inning. The bases were still loaded when reliever Mike Mayers hit Nick Solak with a pitch before Rougned Odor’s inning-ending strikeout.
“We didn’t get a ton of hits, but we put a lot of pressure on their pitcher,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “Canning's a good pitcher, but he obviously made a few mistakes, tried to pick a guy off, gave us a few freebies. But a lot of it had to do with the resiliency of the at-bats."
Los Angeles went up 3-1 in the top of the fourth when Albert Pujols hit his 662nd career double and scored on a single by Max Stassi, who had taken over as the Angels catcher an inning earlier after Jason Castro was ejected for the first time in his 833 career games over 10 seasons.
Castro was upset after striking out on a check swing in the second inning and got tossed by Edwin Moscoso, the rookie fill-in umpire who made the call from third base.
“He said something that I absolutely don't believe was worthy of being thrown out of the game. I heard it,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Throwing out a catcher with his reputation ... that’s a young umpire. I’m sure, I’m hoping, that they speak with him afterwards that what he said did not warrant ejection.”
OFF THE BAG
The Rangers twice had runners tagged out after sliding past second base on what would have been successful stolen bases — Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the second, and Shin-Soo Choo an inning later. Both were initially called safe before challenges by the Angels, and replay showed both came off the bag while still being tagged. Kiner-Falefa did get a stolen base in the sixth, when he was initially called out before Texas challenged. Replay showed he beat the tag — and stayed on the base.
Angels: OF Jo Adell (tight right quad), the top prospect who made his big league debut Tuesday, missed his second game in a row. Maddon said the rookie was doing much better and could be back in the lineup Saturday.
Rangers: RF Joey Gallo was out of the lineup with a sore right wrist after going 1 for 11 in three games at Oakland, including seven strikeouts his previous eight at-bats. ... 2B Odor (right oblique) was the DH in his first game since Saturday. ... LHP Joe Palumbo (ulcerative colitis) was placed on the 10-day injured list.
Kolby Allard (0-0) makes his second start since taking over in the rotation for two-time AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber. The Angels will bring up lefty Patrick Sandoval from their alternate training site before Saturday’s game.
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