Angels 3 Rangers 0
He walked five batters and only struck out two in six innings, but JC Ramirez didn’t allow a run, leading the Angels to a 3-0 victory to wrap up the first half of season on a positive note.
Yu Darvish, the Rangers’ starter, was as good as he’s been, holding the Angels to two runs on three hits across 7 1⁄3 innings while fanning six and walking four.
The Angels took the lead early when Albert Pujols crushed a breaking ball to left-center in the first inning for his 13th home run of the season, and they tacked on another run in the fifth when Ben Revere singled and swiped two bases, setting up a Juan Graterol sacrifice fly. In the ninth, Andrelton Simmons smoked a run-scoring double to left-center for some insurance.
JC Ramirez had struggled to the tune of an ERA over seven in his previous seven starts and while he was far from dominant today, he got the job done on a day that the Angels desperately needed a win.
The Rangers mounted their biggest threat in the fifth inning, putting runners on second and third with two outs, but Shin-Soo Choo rolled a grounder to shortstop to end the inning. On the day, Texas was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
After Ramirez left the game, the Angels bullpen shut the game down. David Hernandez, Cam Bedrosian, and Bud Norris pitched a trio of no-hit frames, striking out four and issuing one walk.
The Angels offense still wasn’t very good today; they only managed five hits, and nobody had more than one hit. However, they were better than the Rangers, who only had two hits. And that’s all that matters, right?
They limped into the All-Star break, dropping eight of their last 12 games, but the Angels are 45-47 and are still right in the middle of the Wild Card chase, sitting just three games back of the second Wild Card spot.
And, hey, it could always be worse. At the All-Star break last year, the Angels were in last place in the American League West with a 37-52 record. And this time, they’ll be getting some reinforcement when they return from the break in the form of the best player in the sport, Mike Trout.