Angels allow 7 stolen bases, swept by Rangers

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Four hours is a long time to play nine innings.

For the Angels, who suffered a 10-3 loss at the hands of the Rangers on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium, it felt like an eternity.

“That’s a tough one tonight,” acknowledged outfielder Mike Trout. “A long game. Just one of them games, you know?”

It was the fourth straight loss and the seventh-straight to their American League West Division rivals. The Angels (51-62) have led at some point in eight of the last 10 losses but each time the advantages were lost.

This time, Trout hit a two-run home run that nearly hit the left-center concourse to give Los Angeles a 2-1 lead. But the Rangers (65-50) came back two innings later to score three.

The Angels failed to retire the side in order in any inning and the Rangers swiped seven bags tying the club record for stolen bases allowed. This came just one night after allowing the Rangers to steal six, causing manager Mike Scioscia to hold pitchers fielding practice during pregame warm-ups.

Nothing seemed to work.

“There are some guys there that can run but they shouldn’t be running with the ease they are against us,” Scioscia said. “It’s one thing giving up a stolen base and you’re not going to change your whole game plan to just try to shut down a running game, you have to try to contain it.”

Four steals came in the first inning alone with two of them on a double-steal.

“Those guys are playing baseball and they took it to us,” Scioscia said. “The running game was a big part of their night tonight.”

But it wasn’t just pesky base running that plagued the Halos.

“There are some areas that it occurred to us, that we just aren’t very good at right now,” Scioscia said. “First and foremost, our starting pitchers.”

For the second game in three nights, the Angels’ starting pitcher allowed five earned runs, this time it was Tommy Hanson (4-3), who threw 101 pitches and failed to make it through five innings.

“Those guys as a group have to be better at getting us to a certain point in our game,” Scioscia said. “That will take a little pressure off our bullpen and maybe set the game up on our arms better.”

This loss was a collective effort. Neither Hanson nor the bullpen was able to hold runners on or throw strikes and the offense hit balls right at the defenders, much as they did all series. Josh Hamilton went hitless and a handful of players managed only a single hit in three games.

“Sometimes the balls don’t go our way,” Trout said. “It seems like all the jam shots and bloops are falling for them not for us.”

In typical Trout fashion, he was the bright spot for the Angels.

Trout, who turned 22 Wednesday, became the first player to hit home runs on consecutive birthdays. In addition, the outfielder became the first player in American League history to record 20-home runs and 20-steals at ages 20 and 21.

“It’s pretty cool, pretty special,” Trout said. “But besides that, we lost and that sucks.”

Prior to the series, Scioscia felt the club had turned a corner after a strong showing against Toronto. Scioscia was so confident, he even promised a run.

That run is looking less and less likely.