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OC Register: Angels’ Noah Syndergaard wins in Texas homecoming start

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Noah Syndergaard’s two games with the Angels have been two victories with some added significance.

Syndergaard pitched the Angels to a 7-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night, winning the first big league game he had ever pitched in his home state. Syndergaard grew up about 20 miles from Arlington.

Last week Syndergaard, who wears No. 34, picked up a victory at Angel Stadium on the 13th anniversary of the tragic death of Nick Adenhart, who was the last player to wear No. 34 for the Angels.

This time Syndergaard was wearing that number in the city where his pitching idol, Nolan Ryan, wore No. 34 to finish his Hall of Fame career.

Syndergaard’s second outing was not quite as good as the first, but it was certainly still encouraging. Syndergaard gave up two runs in six innings, after pitching 5-1/3 scoreless innings in his debut last week.

Both of the runs scored in the third inning, with the Rangers taking advantage of Syndergaard’s career-long trouble holding baserunners. Rangers stole two bases in the inning, and each contributed directly to a run. In his career, opponents have been successful in 89 percent of stolen bases with Syndergaard on the mound.

After that inning, though, Syndergaard retired the last nine hitters he faced before Joe Maddon pulled him with 82 pitches.

The Angels led 4-2 when right-hander Archie Bradley entered the game. He worked the seventh and eighth on 20 pitches, retiring all six hitters he faced. Closer Raisel Iglesias then got the night off because the Angels offense rallied to pad the lead.

The Angels scored one on a bases-loaded ground out by Max Stassi in the seventh and two on a Shohei Ohtani homer in the eighth. It was Ohtani’s third homer in two games, after going without a homer in his first seven.

Ohtani also singled on a grounder to third against the shift in the seventh, setting up a run. He drove in a run on with a groundout in the third, a part of the Angels’ three-run inning.

Taylor Ward hit a homer in the ninth. Ward, who was playing his first game of the season after starting the year on the injured list, also singled and walked twice.

More to come on this story.

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