Rookies push Rangers to 3-2 win for split of DH with Angels
Nick Solak hit his first career homer in the nightcap, after making his big league debut in the opener, and then had the hard shot that was misplayed by first baseman Albert Pujols. That two-out error in the 11th inning allowed Delino DeShields to score from second base and give the Rangers a 3-2 win Tuesday night.
“Tried to put a ball in play. It got by him … it was fun,” said Solak, brought up from Triple-A Nashville after Nomar Mazar went on the 10-day injured list with a strained oblique.
Emmanuel Clase (1-2), the hard-throwing 21-year-old right-hander making his eighth appearance since his MLB debut earlier this month, worked two perfect innings for his first major league victory.
Clase was the fourth Texas reliever after 23-year-old Brock Burke, acquired from Tampa Bay in an offseason trade, pitched six scoreless innings in his big league debut.
“Obviously with a lot of younger guys, we’ve got a lot of energy. I think that kind of gets us through,” first-year manager Chris Woodward said. “They just bring a ton of energy in that situation because they’re hungry to be out there.”
In the opener, Andrew Heaney had a career-high 14 strikeouts without a walk over eight innings and Mike Trout matched the MLB lead with his career-best 42nd homer in the Angels’ 5-1 win. Luis Rengifo also went deep .
The Angels had a 3-0 lead, including Trout’s two-run shot, before Heaney threw his first pitch in a game when the temperature reached 100 degrees.
“Everybody knows it’s hot, just trying to get as deep into the game as I can, try to save the bullpen, all of those things,” Heaney said. “I think sometimes that should be the mentality you have every single time you go out.”
The doubleheader opener was the makeup of the July 1 game that was postponed after pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room the last time the Angels played in Texas. The coroner hasn’t released a cause of death for Skaggs, who was 27.
Heaney, one of the Skaggs’ best friends, had 10 of his strikeouts during the stretch of 16 consecutive retired batters before Willie Calhoun’s homer with two outs in the sixth. Heaney threw 79 of his 108 pitches for strikes.
In the nightcap, DeShields reached on a one-out single in the 11th off Ty Buttrey (6-6), the sixth Angels pitcher. DeShields stole second after Rougned Odor struck out before Logan Forsythe walked to bring up Solak, who had a solo homer in the fifth.
Solak got a hard shot past Pujols, the 39-year-old first baseman who was on a knee and reaching to his left when the ball got by him.
Recalled from Nashville between games, Burke struck out four and walked two. He threw 67 of his 99 pitches for strikes and limited the Angels to four hits — two each by Ohtani and Pujols.
10 AGAINST TEXAS
Trout’s 10 homers this year against the Rangers match the most by an opponent against them in the same season. Oakland’s Khris Davis hit 10 in both 2016 and 2018. Trout, 0 for 5 with three strikeouts in the second game, just missed two more homers in the opener. He pulled a towering fly ball just left of the foul pole in the fourth, and tripled high off the 14-foot wall in left in the ninth.
The Rangers completed their second doubleheader in two weeks, and their third this season. They swept Oakland at home on June 8, and were swept at Cleveland on Aug. 7. Los Angeles played its first doubleheader since a sweep at Minnesota on Sept. 19, 2015.
Burke became the third consecutive Rangers starting pitcher under age 25, the first time for Texas since July 2008. The last Rangers pitcher with at least six scoreless innings in his big league debut had been Brian Sikorski in 2000. … Joe Palumbo (0-2), another rookie added from Nashville as the 26th player for the doubleheader, went only 1 2/3 innings after starting the opener. He left because of a blister on his left thumb. After six no-hit innings in his last minor league start, the lefty allowed three consecutive hits to start the game, including Trout’s homer.
Angels: Jaime Barria was originally scheduled to start the opener Tuesday, but the Angels switched him to the night game to give him some extra rest after he left the ballpark Monday night with a fever. He allowed two runs over five innings.
All-Star lefty Mike Minor (11-7) starts the finale for the Rangers, who are going for only their second series win in a span of 15 series since late June. Lefty Patrick Sandoval (0-1) goes for the Angels.