ARLINGTON, Texas -- When you get a steady pitching effort -- and that doesn't happen often for the Texas Rangers -- you need to drive in runs.
That has been a problem of late sometimes.
The Los Angeles Angels defeated the Rangers 8-1 on Wednesday night. Since beating the Houston Astros 13-6 on Aug. 29, the Rangers have scored only 21 runs in the past 11 games. In that span, they've been shut out once, held to one run four times and scored fewer than three runs 10 times.
Part of the equation of scoring runs is doing damage with runners in scoring position. The Rangers went 1-for-7 in that area Wednesday night and have gone 5-for-41 the past five games.
Rangers starter Nick Tepesch, who has battled with consistency this season, pitched well enough to win, but in 4⅔ innings of work, he gave up three runs and 10 hits. He battled out of some jams during his 93-pitch outing.
His teammates at the plate just didn't provide him with the run support needed.
How it happened: Everything unraveled quickly for Tepesch. He hit No. 2 hitter Mike Trout, but Albert Pujols tripled down the right-field line, his first in four seasons, for a 1-0 lead. Trout, who scored twice Wednesday, has scored 101 times this season. Trout became one of only six major leaguers to score at least 100 times in three different seasons before turning 23.
The bases-loaded play to Pujols: It was a gutsy move by interim manager Tim Bogar, and the percentages dictated he did it. Trailing 3-0, Bogar elected to intentionally walk Trout to get to Pujols with one out.
Phil Klein drew a 6-4-3 grounder from Pujols on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning. It was a smart move by Bogar because if he knew Pujols could hit a ball on the ground, doubling him up was nearly assured. Pujols leads the AL in grounding into double plays with 26 and is second in the majors to Miami's Casey McGehee (28).
Andrus returns: Shortstop Elvis Andrus had missed the past two games so the Rangers could see Luis Sardinas. Andrus returned to the lineup and went 1-for-3 with a walk. Andrus' first-inning single snapped an 0-for-10 spell, and he has only four hits in 17 at-bats during this 10-game homestand.