Odor HR sends Rangers past Angels 4-2 to cap soggy weekend
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Rougned Odor didn’t let a little rain get in the way of his torrid August.
The Texas second baseman connected on a go-ahead, three-run homer with rain falling in the seventh inning, and the Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 on Sunday to wrap up a soggy weekend.
Odor’s 15th home run of the season came minutes before the second rain delay of a game that started 13 hours after the previous night’s game ended. The Angels wrapped up that 11-7 win at 12:59 a.m. local time Sunday after a 2½-hour delay at the start.
“We can’t change the weather,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “What’s going to happen is going to happen. It was just the way it was.”
The rain had just started for the third time in Sunday’s regularly scheduled game when Odor pulled a pitch from reliever Noe Ramirez (4-4) into the seats above the Texas bullpen in right-center field.
“We played through very similar conditions last night for seven innings,” manager Jeff Banister said. “It’s another one of those situations to add to what (Odor) has been able to do this year to right the ship and move himself forward.”
Odor, who had the most RBIs in the majors in August going into the game, added four to give him 23 for the month. His previous career high for a month was 18.
A 24-year-old already in his fifth season, Odor is hitting .338 with a 1.094 OPS this month, and is up to .279 for the season. He didn’t get his batting average above .200 for good until late May.
“You don’t get to this point without putting in the work,” Banister said. “Now, there are a number of things along the way. Whether, it’s did he get to a low point and go through some realization. Physically, he’s still the same talented, young player that we’ve seen.”
Shohei Ohtani doubled and scored the run that put the Angels up 2-1 in the fourth inning.
Three Texas relievers retired all nine hitters, starting with Matt Moore (3-6) in the seventh. The left-hander, who began the season in the Texas rotation before getting sent to the bullpen, won for the second time in the series.
Cory Gearrin pitched the eighth, and Jose Leclerc worked the ninth for his fifth save.
Shin-Soo Choo had three hits and scored two runs, the first on Odor’s RBI single in the first inning.
RAIN WON’T STAY AWAY
The delay after Odor’s homer lasted 56 minutes following an 18-minute stoppage moments after he grounded out to end the fifth, making the game official with the Angels leading 2-1.
The sun came out before the tarp was in place for the first delay, and it was removed in less than 10 minutes. The game didn’t stop during a brief shower between the two delays.
RUNS, NO HITS
Both Los Angeles runs came home without a hit in the fourth. Before Ohtani scored on Andrelton Simmons’ double-play grounder, Albert Pujols drove in David Fletcher on a fielder’s choice when Fletcher avoided the tag by catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa on a slightly wide throw from first baseman Ronald Guzman.
IN A PINCH
Ohtani connected on his second pinch-hit homer of the season in Saturday’s win. He’s the first Angels player with two pinch homers in a season since Russell Branyan in 2011. The two-way Japanese star has reached in eight of 17 pinch-hit appearances.
“Shohei is as prepared as any player I’ve seen, even more so,” Scioscia said. “But pinch-hitting is different than going up there and having four at-bats against a pitcher. There’s less margin of error as far as when you miss a pitch that you should hit. He’s been terrific.”
Angels: Ohtani threw 20 pitches Saturday in his third bullpen session in eight days. The right-hander is expected to face hitters at the club’s minor league facility in Arizona this week. Ohtani hasn’t pitched since June 6 because of a ligament sprain in his right elbow.
Rangers: Banister said the club would wait until after flying to Oakland to determine whether 45-year-old right-hander Bartolo Colon can start the opener of the series against the Athletics on Monday. Colon was scratched from Sunday’s scheduled start because of back stiffness.
RHP Felix Pena (1-3, 4.35 ERA) was announced as the Angels’ starter for the opener of a two-game series at Arizona on Tuesday. If Colon can’t start for Texas, Banister hasn’t indicated who would take his spot.