The Texas Rangers traded for Ryan Dempster, confident that the veteran pitcher can stabilize a rotation hit by injuries, inconsistency and, recently, an inability to get people out in the sixth inning.
He couldn’t help the Rangers on Tuesday night in their 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hit home runs in a three-run sixth to help make a winner out of Jered Weaver.
The Angels followed up a nine-run sixth inning on Monday by sending seven hitters to the plate in the sixth on Tuesday. They chased Rangers starter Derek Holland and opened a decisive six-run lead.
”It was one inning,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ”If we can get to the point where we’re minimizing damage in that inning, we’ll be OK.”
The top of the Angels’ order: Trout, Torii Hunter and Pujols each had two RBIs in topping the Rangers for a second consecutive game in a series between two of the AL West’s frontrunners.
Weaver won his eighth consecutive start, giving up two runs and five hits, a walk and three strikeouts over 6 1-3 innings in becoming just the eighth AL pitcher since 1921 to win at least six games without a loss in July.
”But he pitched a heck of a game,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ”He had a great game plan and went out there and executed it.”
Trout went 2 for 4, including a two-run home run, and two runs scored, tying the major league rookie record for runs in July with 32. He has scored 80 times in 81 games this season.
His 10 home runs in July also set an AL record.
”I just went out there and played my game,” Trout said of his month. ”It’s being more comfortable out there.”
Holland (7-6) took the loss for the Rangers, whose lead over the Angels in the West was cut to three games.
Pujols hit a solo home run in the fourth inning and another in the sixth that increased Los Angeles’ lead to 4-0. It was Pujols’ 43rd multihomer game.
Holland didn’t help himself, walking No. 9 hitter Chris Iannetta to begin the inning. Trout compounded that error by smacking a two-run home run – his 18th of the season – into the Angels’ bullpen in left-center field.
Holland has allowed seven home runs in his past three starts.
”They’re a good ball team,” Holland said. ”If you make a mistake, they’re going to hit it.
”The main thing was I felt good about the start. I made a great pitch to Trout, but he was ahead in the count.”
Hunter’s two-run double in the seventh extended the Angels’ lead to 6-0.
David Murphy’s double scored Josh Hamilton, who was 1 for 4, and Michael Young.
The Rangers had a chance to get to Weaver by putting two on with no outs in the bottom of the sixth, but Ian Kinsler popped out to Pujols at first. Elvis Andrus grounded into a fielder’s choice, and Adrian Beltre’s grounder to second ended the inning.
During his run of eight consecutive victories, Weaver has a 2.01 ERA, despite giving up five runs to the New York Yankees on July 15.
”You have to give Weaver credit,” Washington said. ”He kept us off-balance. That’s why he’s 14-1. I tip my hat to Weaver.”
Notes: Mark Trumbo returned to the Angels lineup as the designated hitter. He missed Monday’s game because of a muscle spasm in his rib cage. Kendrys Morales, who had two home runs and six RBIs in the sixth inning of the Angels’ victory on Monday, sat out. . Scioscia confirmed that pitcher Dan Haren (stiffness in his side) will miss his start Wednesday, but he might return to start Sunday. . The Angels placed left-hander Scott Downs on the disabled list because of a strained left shoulder. LHP Hisanori Takahashi was recalled from Salt Lake City to take Downs’ place in the bullpen. In 35 appearances for the Angels this season, Takahashi is 0-2 with a 4.37 ERA. . Hamilton’s three hits on Monday represented his first three-hit game since May 11 and his first multi-hit performance since July 4.