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OC Register: Angels manage just 5 hits in shutout loss to Rangers


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ANAHEIM — For all of the recent talk about how Jack Mayfield has opened eyes lately to earn regular playing time, it’s probably not a great thing for a team to have him as the No. 3 hitter.

That’s where Mayfield was hitting in the Angels’ lineup when they lost, 4-0, to the Texas Rangers on Monday night.

The Angels’ lineup has been weak for much of the second half, with Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon and Justin Upton all injured and Shohei Ohtani slumping. Phil Gosselin, who has become one of the more consistent hitters and normally in the middle of the order, was off on Monday, pushing Mayfield into the No. 3 spot.

The Angels produced just five hits, going quietly against Rangers rookie A.J. Alexy for six innings.

Alexy was pitching just his second big league game, after working five scoreless innings in his debut last week. The 23-year-old right-hander had spent the past four years in the Rangers system after the Dodgers dealt him to Texas as part of the Yu Darvish trade in 2017.

The Angels hit four balls at 100 mph or harder against Alexy and all of them were outs.

With runners at first and second and no outs in the second, Brandon Marsh hit the hardest ball of the night against Alexy. But his 107 mph bouncer went straight to second baseman Nick Solak, who started a double play.

The Angels didn’t manage another hit until Alexy was out of the game in the seventh. They put runners at the corners after singles by Jo Adell and Marsh, but Max Stassi stranded them with a soft flyout.

The quiet night for the Angels’ hitters stuck Jaime Barria with a loss, despite his seven solid innings.

Barria gave up a first-inning run after a pair of soft singles, one in which DJ Peters broke his bat, and a hit batter. In the second, he gave up a run on three solid singles.

Double plays helped him escape each of those innings with minimal damage, and he had no problem cruising through the Rangers’ order after that.

Barria retired 14 in a row, until a Yohel Pozo infield hit in the seventh inning, which led to the third run.

It was reminiscent of his July 25 outing in Minnesota, when he gave up homers to the first two batters in the first inning, and then nothing else through seven innings.

More to come on this story.

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