Gallardo struggles as Trade Deadline nears

Gallardo struggles as Trade Deadline nears

ANAHEIM -- Two pitchers of great interest to the Rangers took the mound on Saturday. Cole Hamels threw a no-hitter for the Phillies. Yovani Gallardo, for the second time since the All-Star break, couldn't get past the fifth inning for the Rangers.

No telling how much higher Hamels' trade value soared after his superb performance against the Cubs. What is certain is Gallardo didn't help his value with his outing against the Angels, even though the Rangers rallied for a 7-6 win.

Gallardo, who has drawn interest from other clubs as Friday's Trade Deadline approaches, allowed five runs in four-plus innings. He allowed eight hits, three walks and struck out two while throwing 92 pitches.

"Honestly, I felt good," Gallardo said. "I felt I had a good fastball and a good slider. Once again, I was trying to be too fine with my pitches and falling behind hitters. I can't do that."

His line was similar to Sunday in Houston when he also gave up five runs over four-plus innings in a 10-0 loss to the Astros. In that one, Gallardo allowed seven hits, three walks and one strikeout. He is 0-3 with a 6.52 ERA in his last four starts.

"I have to turn it around to the starts I was having before the All-Star break and being aggressive," Gallardo said. "It's completely different when you get ahead of guys. You have a lot more to work with instead of getting behind."

Gallardo was given a 1-0 lead in the first on Rougned Odor's home run. But he struggled with his command in the first two innings, walking three, and the Angels manufactured three runs.

"He is not as sharp as we have seen him," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Getting behind hitters, the walks early scored and that hurt him. I felt like he was trying to attack and couldn't find the strike zone like he wanted to."

Gallardo retired the first two hitters in the third and then struck out C.J. Cron. But strike three was a curveball in the dirt that bounded away from catcher Robinson Chirinos and Cron was able to reach first. He scored on a double by Conor Gillaspie.

The Rangers, trailing 4-1, rallied to tie the game with two in the fourth and they scored another run to tie the game again in the fifth. But Gallardo, after pitching a scoreless fourth, couldn't keep it tied. Instead, Albert Pujols led off with a double and scored on a single by Erick Aybar. That was it for Gallardo.

"Definitely frustrating on my side," Gallardo said. "Fortunately the bullpen did a great job and we were able to come back and get the win."

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