Angels 6, Rangers 5. Uh-oh?
For the first time in a long time, Darren Oliver sucked.
For the first time since June 11, the Texas Rangers lost a road game.
Not to panic, but a lot of things that have gone right lately for Texas went wrong in Tuesday night's 6-5 loss to the Angels in Anaheim.
Oliver walked a batter and then surrendered a three-run double to Bobby Abreu. Scott Feldman couldn't make it out of the sixth inning. Josh Hamilton extended his hitting streak to 22, but went only 1 for 5. The Rangers, the American League's best hitting team with runners in scoring position, scratched out only one run with the bases loaded and no outs in the fifth. And Michael Young, also with the bases loaded and down a run in the eighth, managed only a groundout to short.
Not to worry, in Game 2 of the series tonight Texas hands the ball to, um, a guy who has never thrown a Major League pitch.
Instead of potential All-Star Colby Lewis, Omar Beltre gets the start tonight. Why?
*Obviously the 28-year-old has good stuff. At AAA Oklahoma City this year he's struck out 24 in 21 innings and has an ERA of 1.25 in five starts.
*He could be on display for potential suitors who desire a live arm in a future trade. Hint: The Mariners and Astros will be watching tonight.
*His spot start sends a loud, clear message to Rich Harden and Derek Holland: You can, and will, be replaced if you don't get your shit straightened out in a hurry.
*Lewis, I guess, needs rest.
Still, it's a confusing move. The middle game of the most important series of the season to date and you rely on a guy who for five years was prohibited from entering the U.S. because of his role in a human trafficking ring in the Dominican Republic.
Beltre has a history, and he's a bit of a mystery. We'll all be watching.
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