ANAHEIM, Calif. — Daniel Wright was surprised when Texas’ Carlos Gomez hit homered on his first pitch of the game.
“It kind of shocked me a little bit,” the Angels’ rookie right-hander said. “He hit it well, to say the least. It kind of put me on my heels a little bit. You never want that to happen when you go out there. I tried to bounce back as best I could.”
Gomez would add a second home run against Wright in the Rangers’ eventual 8-5 victory, but that still paled in importance to the scare the Angels again had off the field.
Right-hander Matt Shoemaker, who underwent emergency brain surgery Sunday in Seattle after a line drive hit him in the head, was back into the hospital Saturday.
Angels general manager Billy Eppler said it was done as a precautionary measure. Shoemaker had complained of some pressure Saturday, but Eppler said an MRI to check on brain swelling came back inconclusive.
Eppler said Shoemaker’s neurosurgeon back in Orange County, Dr. Greg Withers, had him take a CT Scan at a local hospital, which was negative for swelling. Withers still wanted him kept overnight for observation.
The Angels announced the Shoemaker news after their loss to the Rangers, a see-saw game that saw them overcome Wright’s rough start, only for their bullpen to give the lead back.
Wright had not pitched in 12 days and was making his Angels debut after they claimed him from the Reds on Sept. 4.
His Angels career hardly got off to the best start when Gomez jumped on his first pitch, sending it deep into the left-field seats.
Wright held the Rangers scoreless over the next two innings, before Gomez added his second home run. Wright ended up going five innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk.
“I think he really showed the ability to spin the ball,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I think his fastball is sneaky. He got it in good spots. And really the first pitch of the game, Gomez just ambushed him on a slider. Outside of that, he did a pretty good job.”
Cole Hamels started for the Rangers, and if he wasn’t at his best, he still held them to two runs in his six innings. He allowed six hits and a career high-tying four walks.
“He was kind of effectively wild,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “Really, his misses were down and lateral. He threw enough quality strikes to keep hitters off balanced.”
When Hamels left after throwing 110 pitches, the Angels immediately went to work against reliever Keone Kela.
Pinch-hitter Rafael Ortega led off with a single, and one out later, Kole Calhoun hit a two-run homer to tie it.
Banister stuck with Kela, even after Mike Trout singled. Trout advanced to third on a groundout and a wild pitch, and and scored the go-ahead run on C.J. Cron’s ground-rule double.
It would prove a brief lead.
The Rangers came charging back in the top of the eighth. Reliever Jose Valdez (1-2) gave up a two-run homer to Jonathan Lucroy to give Texas back the lead. Nomar Maraza tripled and sacored on Valdez’s wild pitch later in the inning. .
“Valdez just had trouble finishing pitches,” Scioscia said.
After the Texas bullpen initially faltered, Tanner Scheppers (1-0), Matt Bush and Sam Dyson held the Angels scoreless over the final 2 1/3 innings. Dyson pitched the ninth to earn his 34th save.
Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor was given the night off with a sore hamstring. The Rangers said it was precautionary and called him day to day. . RH Colby Lewis is scheduled to make his first start Sunday since going down with a right lat strain June 21.
Angels: Catcher Geovany Soto is still hopeful he will be able to return this season. Soto has been on the disabled list three times and appeared in only 26 games. He is currently out with right knee inflammation, but underwent a full workout Saturday.
AN UNWANTED TIE
Wright became the 15th different starting pitcher used by the Angels this season, tying the Dodgers and Braves for the most in baseball. It’s the third highest in team history. The Angels used 17 in 1967 and 16 in 2000.
Rangers: Colby (6-1) was off to a terrific start before landing on the disabled list for over two months. Sunday would mark his 16th start of the season. In three rehab starts he allowed 11 runs in 10 innings.
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver (10-11) will attempt to even his record. Last season was the only time in his 11-year career he has posted a losing record (7-12).