ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The Los Angeles Angels’ bullpen responded in a big way when it got an early call Sunday.
Angels relievers combined for four scoreless innings until the ninth in a 9-6 win Sunday that ended the Texas Rangers’ four-game winning streak.
“Can’t say enough about our bullpen,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “These guys are pitching a lot. They keep taking the ball. These guys are picking up the slack.”
Starter Garrett Richards was pulled after four innings because of dehydration and cramping. He gave up four runs, only one of them earned after his throwing error.
The short outing came after Matt Shoemaker lasted only 2 1-3 innings in his start Saturday night.
Relievers Greg Mahle (1-0), Mike Morin, Jose Alvarez and Fernando Salas shut down Texas.
Joe Smith, serving as the Angels’ closer with Huston Street on the disabled list, allowed two runs in the ninth in a non-save situation.
“Everyone is going to have to step up, and we know that we’re ready for the challenge,” Mahle said.
The 23-year-old rookie pitched a scoreless fifth inning and picked up his first major league win.
“I got a ball and some ticket stubs,” Mahle said. “I’m sure my parents will appreciate that.”
Kole Calhoun got three hits and drove in two runs as the Angels avoided a series sweep.
Shane Robinson got two hits, scored three times and drove in a run after being called up from the minors by the Angels earlier in the day.
C.J. Cron added three hits for Los Angeles. Geovany Soto hit his third home run of the season and second of the series.
Tom Wilhemsen (1-2) took the loss.
Cole Hamels pitched five innings, the shortest of his 19 regular-season and postseason starts for Texas following his acquisition last July 31. He allowed four runs on seven hits and a season-high four walks. Three walks came in Los Angeles’ three-run fifth.
Hamels made his first start since April 20 after missing a turn because of soreness in his left groin, but said he was fully healthy.
“I just can’t walk that many guys,” Hamels said. “I’ve really got to challenge them. Even though they are a good team, you just have to make them earn the bases.”
Texas scored three times in the fourth. Trying to start a double play with no outs, Richards threw between shortstop Andrelton Simmons, standing on second base, and third baseman Yunel Escobar, a few steps to Simmons’ right, into center field.
“I should have put it in my back pocket or just thrown to first and got the out,” Richards said.
PUJOLS IN THE FIELD
Angels DH Albert Pujols is scheduled to start Monday’s series opener at Milwaukee playing first base under National League rules. Scioscia said he won’t commit to playing Pujols, 36, in the field for the entire series.
“We’ll weigh everything and see how he feels,” Scioscia said. “Albert’s long-range health is not only important to Albert, it’s critical to our team.”
SHOEMAKER SENT TO SALT LAKE
Shoemaker (1-4) was optioned to Triple-A a day after allowing seven earned runs in 2 1-3 innings, which raised his ERA to 9.15 in five appearances. The Angeles recalled RHP A.J. Achter from Salt Lake.
Scioscia said he might not need to fill Shoemaker’s spot in the rotation until May 14 because of off days in the schedule.
“We’re certainly counting on Matt pitching to his potential, and it hasn’t been there yet,” he said.
Angels: OF Craig Gentry (right lumbar spine strain) was put on the disabled list. Robinson was selected for the major league roster from Salt Lake.
Rangers: The rehab of OF Josh Hamilton has been halted after he tweaked his left knee on Saturday playing for Double-A Frisco. … RHP Yu Darvish (Tommy John surgery) began his rehab on Sunday pitching two innings for Frisco, with two strikeouts and one walk.
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver (3-0, 3.86) seeks his first 4-0 start since beginning 6-0 in 2011. He starts at Milwaukee.
Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.52) is holding opponents to a .189 batting average. He starts at Toronto.
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