Nick Martinez, Rangers fall to Angels 5-1
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Yunel Escobar and Daniel Nava continued their strong springs to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
Escobar, acquired from Washington in the offseason, singled leading off the game for his eighth consecutive hit. Escobar's streak ended in the third when he grounded out, but he doubled and walked in his final two plate appearances, hiking his average to .486.
Nava hit his first home run off Nick Martinez in the third and has hit safely in all 13 of his games, going 15 for 29 for a .517 batting average.
"Those guys can literally do nothing wrong, unbelievable," said winning pitcher Andrew Heaney.
Albert Pujols scored in the Angels' third on shortstop Jurickson Profar's second error. The Rangers committed five errors, three before they recorded four outs.
Heaney allowed one run, a homer to Ryan Rua, and four hits in four innings. He struck out five and walked one.
"That's not normal for me, usually a little bit less strikeouts," Heaney said. "The one walk would have been nice not to have, but it happens."
Martinez yielded three runs, one unearned, on seven hits, while striking out five and walking none.
"Nick got a few more swings and misses than he normally does," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He was a little sharper with his fastball, pitched in, the breaking ball had good life to it, but still I'd like to see little more efficiency with his pitches. We didn't play well behind him. He got the one pitch up to Nava and he tomahawked it out of the ball park."
Angels: Heaney threw 40 strikes in 63 pitches, lowering his ERA to 2.00 in three starts. "I felt really good about it," Heaney said. "Each time out I've felt better, a little bit more comfortable every time. If it keeps progressing like that it's a good sign."
Rangers: Martinez, who is competing for the fifth slot vacancy, faced 21 batters and retired eight on ground balls.
ACES IN MINORS
Rangers LHP Cole Hamels pitched for Triple-A Round Rock against the Royals' Omaha club and allowed three earned runs on five hits, including two home runs, in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out nine and walked none throwing 48 strikes in 70 pitches.
Angels RHP Jered Weaver pitched in a minor-league game at Tempe, allowing three runs pm seven hits in four innings, walking none and striking out three. "There were definitely some positives to take out of it," Weaver said. "I haven't had some positives come out of a start in a while." Weaver, who is battling a neck issue and had not pitched in a competitive game in 10 days, was 78-81 mile per hour on the radar guns, hitting 83 once.
Angels: SS Andrelton Simmons (sore arm) has not played the field in a week, but could return Tuesday. . LHP Tommy Skaggs (rehabbing from Tommy John surgery) is penciled in to start a minor league game Thursday.
Rangers: OF Nomar Mazara left with a bruised right big toe after fouling off a pitch in the sixth. X-rays were negative. . RHP Yu Darvish (rehabbing from Tommy John surgery) is slated to throw a 30-pitch bullpen session for the first time Monday. . OF Josh Hamilton (left knee injury) said he is pain-free and will likely return to a full workout with restricted running by mid-week.
FOREVER AN ANGEL
Chone Figgins will sign a one-day contract Monday with the Angels, so he can retire as an Angel. Figgins, 38, hit .291 with a .363 on-base percentage from 2002-09 with the club.
Angels: RHP Nick Tropeano will make his fourth start against the Brewers.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez will face the Rockies.