"There's some areas that are important to us that we're just not very good at right now," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "First and foremost, our starting pitchers, as a group, there's some individuals that are throwing the ball well, but as a group, we have to get better at getting us to a certain point in the game."
In Tuesday's loss, the Angels couldn't slow down the Rangers' running game, as Texas stole six bases and used aggressive baserunning to manufacture eight runs without the benefit of an extra-base hit.
Tommy Hanson, despite having three baserunners caught stealing in his last start, has had trouble controlling the running game this season, and those troubles were on display Wednesday as the Rangers stole seven more bases -- five against Hanson.
Four of those stolen bases came in the first inning, marking just the third time since 1984 that the Angels have allowed four stolen bases in one inning. The seven steals tied for the most allowed in franchise history.
"It's one thing giving up the stolen base, and you're not going to change your whole game plan to shut down a running game, you have to try to contain it," Scioscia said. "They have some guys over there that can run, but they shouldn't be running with the ease that they are against us. We have to get a little bit better."
However, keeping the Rangers stationary on the basepaths was not Hanson's only problem.
The right-hander also struggled with his command, as he hit two batters, walked three and threw two wild pitches. Hanson allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings as the Angels lost their fourth straight game overall and their seventh straight against the Rangers.
"It was as consistent as I wanted it to be," Hanson said of his command. "Facing a good team and facing good Major League hitters, it's got to be there, and it wasn't."
Hanson has allowed 15 runs (14 earned) on 18 hits in his last 14 2/3 innings and was shaky from the very beginning as he hit Leonys Martin and walked Elvis Andrus to begin the game.
Martin and Andrus executed a double steal to get into scoring position and after Ian Kinsler popped up in the infield and Adrian Beltre was intentionally walked, Mitch Moreland gave the Rangers an early lead with a sacrifice fly.
"The key is just to be patient, look for a pitch you can steal on and look for the right count," Martin said after stealing a trio of bases. "I'm just taking advantage of being in the leadoff spot and taking advantage of my speed."
The Rangers' lead would not last long, as Mike Trout celebrated his birthday with a two-run home run in the Angels' first at-bat. His 20th home run gave the Angels a 2-1 lead and made him the first player in Major League history to homer on both his 21st and 22nd birthdays.
The Angels have led in eight of their last 10 losses.
The Rangers retook the lead in the third when Martin doubled, advanced to third on Andrus' single and scored when Beltre hit into a fielder's choice.
Moreland would follow with an RBI single to extend the lead to 5-2 and the Rangers would tack on insurance runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
"The frustration level, it's there, but it's manageable in that clubhouse," Scioscia said. "Guys know we should be doing somethings better, but guys also know that we are banged up a little bit and we have guys filling in that aren't going to replace the guys that are out."