ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Garrett Richards pitched seven effective innings, and the Los Angeles Angels parlayed three errors and another mammoth home run by Mark Trumbo into five early runs against Derek Holland to beat the Texas Rangers 8-3 Saturday night.
The Rangers’ fifth loss in six games, coupled with Oakland’s 2-1 victory against Houston, put Texas 1 1-2 games behind the Athletics in the AL West race.
Richards (6-6) allowed two runs — one earned — and six hits while striking out five and walking one. The right-hander, who finished his night by fanning the side on 18 pitches, is 4-0 with a 3.25 ERA in seven starts at home this season.
Holland (9-8) was charged with eight runs — four earned — and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out four and walked one in his sixth attempt to join Kenny Rogers as the only left-handers in the history of the Rangers/Washington Senators franchise with double-digit victories in three consecutive seasons.
Holland, whose last victory was Aug. 4 at Oakland, gave up unearned runs in the first two innings. The Angels took a 3-1 lead in the first after Holland fielded a dribbler toward the first base line by leadoff man J.B. Shuck and committed a two-base throwing error.
Shuck advanced on Erick Aybar’s sacrifice bunt and scored when four-time Gold Glove third baseman Adrian Beltre misplayed Mike Trout’s slow bouncer for his 13th error. Trumbo drove the next pitch to center field for his 31st homer and second in two nights, following a drought of 57 at-bats without one.
Collin Cowgill led off the Angels’ second and reached on a fielding error by shortstop Elvis Andrus. He tried to score all the way from first on a double to left by rookie Luis Jimenez and was thrown out by Andrus on the relay from David Murphy.
Jimenez continued to third on the throw and scored on Green’s sacrifice fly — barely making it to the plate in time with a headfirst slide after initially breaking for the plate on contact and having to scurry back to third to tag up.
Trumbo’s bid for another two-run homer run was ruled foul by third base umpire Adrian Johnson in the third inning, and manager Mike Scioscia calmly walked out to request a video review. The call was upheld and Trumbo struck out on the next pitch, but Chris Iannetta increased the Angels’ lead to 5-2 after a two-out walk to Josh Hamilton.
The Angels, 14 1-2 games out of first place despite winning 12 of their last 15 games, tacked on three more in the sixth on Grant Green’s two-out, two-run double and an RBI single by Shuck that chased Holland.
Texas catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who ended the scoring with a leadoff homer in the ninth against Cory Rasmus, committed the Rangers’ fourth error when he dropped a foul pop by Shuck in the eighth and Shuck singled on the next pitch. That ended a streak of 127 errorless games by Pierzynski since his previous one on Aug. 28, 2012 with the White Sox at Baltimore, when he made a poor throw to second base trying to prevent Nate McLouth from stealing.
NOTES: Trumbo is batting .235 with 20 games remaining. The lowest average by any Angels player who hit at least 30 homers in a season was by 3B Troy Glaus, who batted .250 with 41 homers in 2001 and .250 with 30 homers in 2002. … Trumbo’s homer was the 17th allowed by Holland, who set a Rangers club record for lefties last season by giving up 32. … Despite the fact that the Angels will miss the postseason for the fourth straight year, they will definitely have a say in the outcome of the AL West race. The final week of their schedule includes a three-game series at home against Oakland, followed by a four-game set at Texas.