Guzman, Gallo, Minor lead Rangers past Angels to stop skid
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Pitching without his best stuff, Mike Minor was still able to continue his second-half success.
Minor threw six solid innings, allowing just one run on eight hits as the Texas Rangers ended a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.
“The last two outings, I haven’t felt great — mechanically off a little bit. But I felt like they had chances to capitalize and I only gave up the one,” Minor said. “I felt really lucky for that.”
Ronald Guzman homered and Joey Gallo drove in three runs for Texas. Guzman hit a two-run shot, his 15th, in a four-run second to give Minor (12-7) a comfortable lead.
After starter Jaime Barria walked Adrian Beltre and Jurickson Profar, Gallo doubled them in for a 2-0 lead. Barria walked Hanser Alberto and then gave up the home run to Guzman.
Minor (12-7) had shoulder surgery in 2015, and his 12 wins are his most since then. He had a career-high 13 wins with the Atlanta Braves in 2013.
Over his last seven starts, Minor is 6-1 with a 2.59 ERA. He’s won four straight on the road.
“The first half, especially the first couple of months, were really bad,” Minor said. “I don’t know but it started in spring training where I didn’t feel great, mechanically and stuff. I wasn’t attacking hitters the way I knew I could. Now, I’ve made more quality pitches. I feel better, more comfortable out there. Feels like (2014) seems so long ago. I thought I was going to step up there and be an easy transition because I’ve (started) my whole career besides last year. I thought it wasn’t going to be an issue. It was just getting out there every six days and getting some innings underneath me.”
Jose Leclerc pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 10th save as Texas stopped the Angels’ four-game winning streak.
Barria (10-9) walked four batters in three innings. He gave up four runs and three hits while throwing only 31 of 60 pitches for strikes.
The four-run second snapped his scoreless streak at 12 innings.
“Jaime was out of sync,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Shohei Ohtani had two hits and an RBI for Los Angeles. Mike Trout added two infield singles and made a couple of fantastic catches in center field. Taylor Cole pitched four scoreless innings of relief, retiring all 12 batters he faced.
Cole had shortstop Andrelton Simmons to thank for retiring Elvis Andrus in the fifth. Simmons fielded a grounder deep in the hole and made a one-hop throw from the outfield grass to get Andrus.
Simmons made another terrific play in the eighth to catch a ball over his head. Trout robbed Beltre of two hits, including a diving grab in the eighth.
Ohtani was selected the American League player of the week after batting .474 with four homers, eight runs, 10 RBIs and two stolen bases. It was recently recommended that the two-way player have Tommy John surgery, but he’ll still hit the remainder of the season. And he could continue to make his case for AL Rookie of the Year.
“I think the whole Rookie of the Year embodies much of what a player does. It’s not just one statistic,” Scioscia said. “If you look at how dominant he was when he was healthy pitching, to now the way he’s swinging the bat in the batter’s box and the numbers he’s putting up, it’s been a performance so far worthy of Rookie of the Year consideration, and in my mind winning Rookie of the Year.”
Rangers: OF Ryan Rua (muscle spasms in back) was reinstated from the disabled list. He had been on the DL since July 27.
Angels: Ohtani was scheduled to meet with general manager Billy Eppler to discuss whether to have Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm. ... Albert Pujols, who recently had knee surgery, will also undergo surgery on his right elbow Wednesday to remove bone spurs. “It was time to shut it down,” Pujols said. “You have to look at the long run to be able to get myself ready for next year. And on top of that take care of my elbow and the little things.” ... LHP Tyler Skaggs (left adductor strain) is scheduled to throw a simulated game in the next day or two and then will be re-evaluated.
Rangers: RHP Adrian Sampson will make his second career start Tuesday night and first for Texas. He made one start with Seattle in 2016 but was injured warming up for what would’ve been his second start and had surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon.
Angels: Right-handed reliever Jim Johnson (5-3, 3.81 ERA) is scheduled to start a “bullpen game” for Los Angeles.