The Texas Rangers scored three unearned runs in the fourth inning and held on for a 4-3 win against the Los Angeles Angels in the opener of the three-game series on Friday night in Arlington, Texas.
Jordan Lyles (1-1) earned his first win with the Rangers. The veteran right-hander went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs and six hits, striking out five and walking two.
Angels starter Griffin Canning (0-2) didn’t fare as well, walking six batters over 3 2/3 innings and making a throwing error that led to another run. He gave up four runs (one earned), three hits and struck out four.
Canning couldn’t overcome a costly error by Angels second baseman Tommy La Stella in the fourth inning.
The Rangers trailed 3-1 with runners at first and second and one out when catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a routine grounder to La Stella for a potential double play.
La Stella couldn’t field the grounder cleanly, however, and the Angels didn’t get anybody out on the play. Canning followed by walking in a run before making the throwing error on a pickoff attempt that brought home another and tied the score 3-3.
Canning walked Shin-Soo Choo to reload the bases and was relieved by Mike Mayers, who nicked Nick Solak with a pitch to force in another run and give Texas a 4-3 lead.
Jonathan Hernandez, the Rangers’ fourth pitcher, got La Stella to pop out with the bases loaded to end the seventh, then struck out the side in the eighth.
Rafael Montero made his season debut in the ninth and retired the side in order for his first major league save.
On his 29th birthday, Angels center fielder Mike Trout slammed a two-run homer to deep left-center field in the first inning, the fifth time he has homered on his birthday in his 10-year career.
The Rangers scored a run in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Robinson Chirinos to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Angels catcher Jason Castro was ejected in the second inning by third base umpire Edwin Moscoso following a check-swing appeal. He was replaced by Max Stassi, who made it 3-1 with a looping single in the fourth that scored Albert Pujols from second.