ARLINGTON, Texas — Another strange game for the Los Angeles Angels.
After a delay because of a swarm of bees at home the day before, the Angels started their final road trip with a 3-2 loss to AL West-leading Texas, which won in its last at-bat Monday night. That was after a late rain delay in a game that also had malfunctioning phones in the Los Angeles bullpen and the ejection of the Rangers manager when an apparent Angels out became a double.
“The last few games for us have been kind of weird,” center fielder Mike Trout said. “It was a crazy day today. It’s a tough one to lose.”
Angels reliever Jose Alvarez (1-3) had gotten out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth after the 38-minute delay caused by a popup shower. But the lefty gave up three consecutive hits to start the ninth, with Elvis Andrus leading off with a sharp single and moving up on a bunt single by Carlos Gomez before Ian Desmond’s game-ending RBI single.
Right after play resumed in the eighth, Texas loaded the bases, and manager Mike Scioscia became clearly annoyed because the phones weren’t operating properly. He had to confer with umpires and come out of the dugout to signal the bullpen to start warming up. Eventually, Alvarez became the sixth pitcher and got the final two outs to end the Rangers threat.
“We couldn’t get some information to those guys. So we have to bring some smoke signals next time, I guess,” Scioscia said.
There was also the wild play in the sixth when Yunel Escobar was thrown out by several feet trying to stretch his hit into a triple, then motioned toward the outfield. Scioscia challenged that the ball had become lodged underneath the padding on the wall in right-center field and should have been ruled dead, as per the ground rules for the Rangers ballpark.
“We thought that someone put their hands up like it was out of play. I think that’s what (Escobar) saw,” Scioscia said. “He kind of stutter-stepped and slowed down.”
Texas manager Jeff Banister was ejected when he came out to get an explanation and kept questioning crew chief and second base umpire Joe West after Escobar was put at second base. The replay showed right fielder Mazara played the ball and never indicated it was wedged under the padding.
“From the infield you can’t tell if it’s stuck. … But when we went to replay, they said it stuck. So it’s plain and simple a ground-rule double,” West told a pool reporter after the game.
Trout followed with a triple into the right-field corner to tie the game 1-1. The Angels went ahead in the seventh when Jefry Marte was hit by a pitch and scored on a two-out double by Carlos Perez.
But Andrus homered in the seventh, a ball that barely cleared the 8-foot wall in center, to tie the game at 2-2.
When Andrus scored the winning run, the Rangers had their MLB-best 46th come-from-behind victory — the 20th in their last at-bat.
“That has been our DNA this year,” Andrus said. “We didn’t give up until the last out, until the last pitch, and it’s contagious.”
Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland was ejected after taking a called third strike to end the fourth inning, on a pitch that appeared to be well outside. While he had some words with home plate umpire Kerwin Danley as he walked back to the dugout, there were no demonstrative actions by Moreland before his first ejection in his 764 career games.
Angels: Starting pitcher Jhouyls Chacin was struck on the left shin by a hard comebacker in the fourth. The ball ricocheted to first baseman C.J. Cron for the second out in the inning. Chacin remained on the ground for several minutes, then made a few warmup tosses before staying in the game. Chacin allowed one run over five innings while throwing 91 pitches, 29 after getting hit.
“Jhoulys pitched a good game. I think he had a real good slider going. Good command of his fastball, had real good movement on it,” Scioscia said. “When he got hit in the leg it took something out of him. After five innings that was about it.”
Angels: Rookie right-hander Daniel Wright (0-3, 7.04 ERA) is still seeking his first MLB victory. He made his MLB debut with Cincinnati earlier this season.