Detwiler again plagued by command issues

Detwiler again plagued by command issues

ARLINGTON -- Monday's starter, Ross Detwiler, had a two-run lead going into the top of the fifth inning, and was facing the bottom two hitters in the Angels' lineup to begin the frame.

First up was catcher Chris Iannetta, who was 1-for-19 to that point in the season. Detwiler threw strike one, then four straight balls.

That walk proved to be crucial, as Detwiler went on to give up four runs in the inning on the way to a 6-3 loss. Detwiler is now 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts for the Rangers.

"It was the same as my first start," Detwiler said. "I had command in the first inning, then I lost it and never found it again. I made some good adjustments from my last start. I'll have to go back and see what happened between the first and second inning."

Collin Cowgill and David Freese had the big hits in the inning, a pair of home runs. But both were two-run home runs, because each was preceded by a walk. The leadoff walk to Iannetta set up Cowgill's home run, and a one-out pass to Mike Trout set up Freese's.

"The pitches hit for home runs were up," manager Jeff Banister said. "Early on, his fastball was in play, and his changeup was in play. Then similar to before, he lost command of his fastball."

Detwiler got 17 outs, and 11 were on balls hit in the air. There were three strikeouts, two grounders and one out on the basepaths.

"Everything was up," Detwiler said. "You get it up, it gets hit pretty hard. Get it down, and you get ground balls. I can't remember a ground ball."

Detwiler took a three-run lead into the fourth before giving up a one-out single to C.J. Cron. Erick Aybar followed with a one-hop smash that second baseman Rougned Odor grabbed, then fumbled as he tried to flip it to second to start the double play. Odor recovered to get one out, but that was it.

Matt Joyce followed with a high fly to deep right-center that right fielder Shin-Soo Choo reached, only to have the ball deflect off his glove. Aybar scored, although Joyce was thrown out trying to make third on the play.

"As soon he hit it, I thought I had it," Choo said. "I got there and didn't catch it."

That made it 3-1, and the Angels went ahead in the fifth by taking advantage of the walks.

The Rangers' overworked bullpen was saved by right-hander Stolmy Pimentel. Claimed on waivers two days ago from the Pirates, Pimentel got the Rangers into the ninth before fading and allowing a run. Roman Mendez finished up, with other key relievers getting a badly needed night off.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.