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Angels drop series opener to the worst team in the AL West

A lefty was on the mound so we could have written this story before it ended

MLB: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Angels 2 Rangers 5

I guess it was too much to ask for the Angels to carry their sweep momentum into this series - after it, a lefty was on the mound - the Angels kryptonite this season.

Mike Trout followed by Shohei Ohtani was super fun on Saturday and Sunday, so of course Mike Scioscia had to throw Upton between them like a wet blanket in this series opener. It’s his vs. lefty lineup you see. When a lefty is on the mound, the order is Trout, Upton, Ohtani. When a righty is on the mound - it’s Trout, Ohtani, Upton. But I digress. Instead, our #4 hitter tonight (Upton) was 0 for 4 with a game ending K.

Jaime Barria didn’t have the start we expected, especially after dominating Texas this season and coming off back to back scoreless outings. So he gave up 4 runs in just 2 innings because this is your 2018 Angels - expect the unexpected. Or something like that.

Thankfully, Taylor Cole came in and he was nails - in fact he was perfect through 4 full innings while striking out 3. He did his job to try and keep the Angels in this one but all they could muster was a single run in the 4th inning after Shohei Ohtani led off with a double and Jose Miguel Fernandez later drove him in (after he swiped his 9th base of the season). It was Ohtani again in the 7th inning who helped save the day, driving in Mike Trout with an RBI single off Alexander Claudio.

Even though the Angels were down only 2 runs, Mike Scioscia seemed to throw in the towel when he made the call to Williams Jerez. Jerez had given up 8 runs in his last 3 appearances to hold on to a two run lead. True to form, Jerez gave up a run in the 8th inning and was saved from possibly more by some mighty fine defense at the hands of Andrelton Simmons and Mike Trout.

Shoehei Ohtani went 2 for 4 with an RBI and his 9th stolen base of the season. There is a very likely possibility that he has double digit stolen bases along with 20+ home runs before September ends. Mike Trout had a pair of hits himself, and 6 different Angels batting had hits this game but they just couldn’t string enough together, leaving 10 on base.