Mikolas can't limit damage in defeat

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers played some great defense behind Miles Mikolas.

And that's a big reason why the 25-year-old right-hander wore a long face in the clubhouse after the Rangers' 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

"When guys are giving it up for me with everything they have, it makes this hurt worse," Mikolas said.

Left fielder Jake Smolinski, for example, made two diving catches that could end up on the season highlight reel.

For five innings, Mikolas limited the dangerous Angels lineup to four hits and an unearned run.

"It was kind of like my first start in Baltimore," Mikolas said. "Five strong innings, but they don't cut the line off there. I've got to do a better job. I wasn't tired."

His pitch count was only at 84 when he departed.

In Baltimore, Mikolas was relieved with one out in the sixth and the Rangers leading 4-1. He gave up only three hits, but left with runners on base. Both eventually scored and he was charged with three runs.

Mikolas' low pitch count influenced Rangers manager Ron Washington to stay with him this time in the sixth.

"Miles did a good job today," Washington said. "He was facing pretty good hitters, give them credit. But he's got to figure out a way to limit the damage. We can't rely on four innings from the bullpen all the time."

The Rangers were clinging to a 2-1 lead when Albert Pujols opened the Angels' sixth with a single to right. With the Rangers' infield in at double-play depth, Josh Hamilton's looper cleared Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor for another single.

"Those were two changeups that I got up," Mikolas said. "If the ball is down to Hamilton, maybe he hits into a double play."

Howie Kendrick and David Freese had RBI hits. Hank Conger broke it open with a two-run double. Washington went to his bullpen when Mikolas walked Collin Cowgill.

Ending the losing streak, now at seven games, is on the minds of all the pitchers. Mikolas is no exception.

"Every pitcher wants to be the guy to get that win," Mikolas said.

Not so clutch: The Rangers were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. That comes after going 0-for-6 on Friday.

"Tonight we had several chances to drive in a run and we didn't do it," Washington said.

Odor, the 20-year-old rookie, produced the only hit with a runner in scoring position, an RBI double in the second inning.

Soto apology: Rangers catcher Geovany Soto apologized to his teammates in a team meeting before Saturday's game. Soto was arrested Wednesday night on a charge of marijuana possession in Grapevine.

Sunday's starter: The Rangers announced after the game that right-hander Scott Baker (0-2, 5.84 ERA) will start in Sunday's 2:05 p.m. CT game against the Angels at Globe Life Park. It will be his fourth start of the season. He is 0-2 with a 5.94 ERA as a starter.