ANAHEIM — A week after José Suarez gave the Angels and their fans reason to believe he’d solved his issues, everything came crashing down around him again.
The embattled lefty gave up seven runs and then left with a shoulder injury in the third inning of the Angels’ 16-8 loss to the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
Suarez is scheduled for an MRI on Monday. A trip to injured list for Suarez would save the Angels a discussion about what to do with him, although they still would have to decide what to do with the rotation. Because of Thursday’s off day, the Angels could defer a decision on their sixth starter until May 17 in Baltimore. If they keep the pitchers in order, the spot would come up again next Sunday in Cleveland.
Suarez now has a 9.62 ERA after six starts. He has allowed 37 hits, including nine homers, in 24-1/3 innings. The Angels seemed to be ready to pull the plug on his spot in the rotation after he gave up seven runs against the Oakland A’s on April 24, but Manager Phil Nevin said they believed there was hope to give him another try.
Suarez responded with five scoreless innings in a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
On Sunday, though, Suarez got through a shaky first inning on 26 pitches. He took the mound in the second with a three-run lead — thanks to Anthony Rendon’s first homer in nearly a year — but he gave those runs right back.
Suarez allowed a two-run homer to Ezequiel Duran in the second and then a two-run homer to Josh Smith in the third. After Smith circled the bases, Suarez seemed to indicate something didn’t feel right with his arm, and he left the game.
Suarez said he began to feel some pain in his shoulder in the second inning, but he didn’t say anything to anyone.
“I thought I could hold on through the pain and I wanted to pitch, but I couldn’t,” he said through an interpreter.
Even after Suarez was out of the game, it was still an ugly performance for the Angels, on the mound and in the field.
“We played horribly defensively, not just the three errors,” Nevin said. “There were other things that happened in that (third) inning whether it was alignments, not understanding some runners. Wild pitches. Passed balls. You name it. We did a lot wrong. That inning and the (fourth) inning we made some mistakes as well.”
Nevin said the defensive mistakes “were discussed then and they will be discussed going forward. It was one of those days, I’d like to say. We played too well the last week for something like that to arise. It’ll be handled. It’ll be addressed.”
Right-hander Chase Silseth was the victim of one particularly ugly defensive sequence. With runners at second and third and one out in the fourth, Josh Jung hit a routine grounder to Rendon at third. He bobbled the ball, then threw home. Even with the bobble, the throw was in time, but the ball popped out of catcher Matt Thaiss’ glove for a second error on the play, allowing a second run to score.
Silseth ended up allowing six runs (three earned) in 3-1/3 innings. The Rangers kept piling on against Chris Devenski in the seventh, including five more runs.
Angels pitchers gave up 30 runs in the three games this weekend against the Rangers, including 26 in losses on Saturday and Sunday.
Outfielder Brett Phillips finished on the mound on Saturday, and infielder Jake Lamb worked the ninth inning on Sunday.
That spoiled what was a nice offensive day for the Angels, starting with Rendon’s homer.
Rendon had gone 153 plate appearances without a homer, dating back to May 17, 2022. He hurt his wrist shortly after that, missing almost all of the rest of the season, and he had started this season without a homer. Rendon also drove in a run with a single and he walked twice.
Thaiss and Gio Urshela had three hits apiece. Taylor Ward had a hit and two walks. Shohei Ohtani had two hits and a walk.
The Angels had chances to get back in the game, but they left the bases loaded in the fourth and sixth innings. Both times Hunter Renfroe made the final out of the inning.
“We just didn’t play very well altogether today,” Nevin said. “It was a team effort of not good.”
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