Lohse's struggles add up to short outing

Rangers starter gives up pair of homers in 4 1/3 innings

Lohse's struggles add up to short outing

ANAHEIM -- Rangers pitcher Kyle Lohse has been in the big leagues since 2001. He knows what he did wrong in an 8-6 loss to the Angels and it wasn't giving up the two home runs to Albert Pujols.

"Starting off the fourth with a walk was just leading into trouble," Lohse said.

As manager Jeff Banister pointed out, it was the pivotal moment of the night, turning what had the potential to be a breakthrough night for Lohse into another short outing by a Rangers starter.

"The challenge for Kyle was three walks and they all scored," Banister said. "The walks and the home runs, those were the challenges for us."

Lohse was making his second start for the Rangers and ended up allowing seven runs in 4 1/3 innings, including a pair of three-run home runs by Pujols. All that happened after he retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced through three scoreless innings.

"Leading up to that, I felt in control," Lohse said. "I was getting quick outs and forcing contact. It's not like me to walk that many guys. I got out of sorts for the moment."

His immediate future remains uncertain with 11 days to go to the Aug. 1 Trade Deadline and the Rangers talking to multiple clubs about starting pitching. A trade could happen any day or it may not happen at all.

Right now Lohse has two starts left until the Trade Deadline with the next one scheduled for Monday against the Athletics in Arlington.

"I still think he has the moxie to be able to pitch," Banister said. "Stuff? The fastball is not as firm, but he still throws strikes. He still has a changeup that can be a swing-and-miss pitch, the breaking ball is not quite as sharp. If the guy makes pitches, he can have success."

The walk that irritated Lohse was to Kole Calhoun leading off the fourth with Mike Trout and Pujols up next. Trout ripped a double off the wall and Pujols crushed a first-pitch changeup for a game-tying home run.

"I was trying to get him out front and I left it up," Lohse said.

Lohse also walked Andrelton Simmons with one out and he ended up scoring on a single by Ji-Man Choi and Jett Bandy's sacrifice fly. That put the Angels up, 4-3, but the Rangers came back with two runs in the top of the fifth.

That put Lohse in a position to get a win with one more scoreless inning and then turn it over to the bullpen. He couldn't get the shutdown inning. Once again it was Calhoun with a triple off the right-center-field wall just above the reach of Ian Desmond.

That brought up Trout and the Rangers pitched around him with a walk.

"He's the best hitter in the league," Banister said. "I'm not going to let him beat us."

The Rangers were hoping Lohse could use his sinker and get Pujols to hit into an inning-ending double play. But Trout, after almost getting picked off, stole second on a 2-1 pitch that missed for ball three. With the count 3-1 and first base open, Lohse tried a slider that was supposed to be in the dirt. But it got too much of the plate and Pujols went deep again.

"You have to trust the veteran can execute a pitch out of the strike zone," Banister said.

That was it for Lohse and the countdown to the Trade Deadline continues.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. 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.