Rangers can't find offense, fall 3-0

The Associated PressJuly 12, 2014 

— The Texas Rangers limited the major leagues' top scoring team to three runs Friday night after being flogged for 15 the night before by the same Los Angeles Angels.

No matter.

Rangers outfielder Alex Rios wasn't interesting in talking moral victories following the 3-0 loss to Angels.

"We fought, but at the end of the day we lost," said Rios, the only Texas batter to manage two hits off right-hander Garrett Richards and two relievers as the Rangers' losing streak was extended to six games. "I'm not talking anymore about losing. It's getting old."

Richards (11-2) allowed five hits over seven innings to extend his personal winning streak to seven decisions. Mike Trout provided Richards run support with a solo home run in the fourth inning, his 22nd of the season.

The Rangers (38-55) have lost 12 of their last 13 games and 20 of their last 23, saddling them with the worst record in the major leagues.

Texas manager Ron Washington delivered an impassioned 30-minute talk to his team after Thursday night's 15-6 drubbing, in which Los Angeles scored 13 runs in the first three innings. Washington said his team played a crisper game Friday, but ran into one of the majors' hottest pitchers.

Richards is unbeaten in his last eight starts with an ERA of 1.27 during that span. His last loss was May 30, at Oakland.

Texas went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position, each of those at-bats coming with two outs against Richards.

"We had six chances to put a run on the board; we just couldn't do it," Washington said. "He shut us down."

Albert Pujols and Erick Aybar had two hits each for Los Angeles.

Texas right-hander Nick Tepesch (3-5) retired the first 10 batters before Trout sent a 1-0 sinker 418 feet to center field for the game's first run. Tepesch allowed two runs in the seventh.

The Angels have won eight of their last nine and 17 of their last 21. Their record of 24-9 since June 6 is the best in the majors.

Pujols opened the Angels' seventh with a shot that went under the glove of shortstop Elvis Andrus and was ruled a single. Josh Hamilton pulled a liner to the right side that skimmed off the glove of second baseman Rougned Odor, sending Pujols to third.

Aybar hit an opposite-field flare to left that scored Pujols and ended Tepesch's night. David Freese greeted reliever Neftali Feliz with a single up the middle to score Hamilton.

Washington and Tepesch agreed that the Rangers starter's one misstep of the game was the home run pitch to Trout.

"He tried to go in on Trout," Washington said, "and it just rode back over the plate."

Tepesch, who has won just once in his last seven starts, said of the two-run seventh, "It was just a matter of them putting some pretty good swings on pretty good pitches."

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, one of the club's two All-Stars, extended his hitting streak to 15 games.

Rangers left fielder Jake Smolinski, who made his major league debut Monday, left the game following the second inning after being hit in the left elbow by a pitch. Smolinski had multi-hit games in his three starts before Friday night.

NOTES: The Rangers signed RHP Jerome Williams, released by Houston in June, to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Round Rock. Williams was 1-4 with a 6.04 ERA in 26 appearances. ... Angels RHP Jared Weaver said he will be ready to start Saturday after leaving Monday's game after two innings with a stiff back. ... Rangers C Geovany Soto made a written apology through the club after being arrested Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession.

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