ARLINGTON, Texas -- — Rookie Chris Rodriguez pitched 3 1/3 shutout innings for the win, and Anthony Rendon and Jose Iglesias hit two-run singles in the first to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Texas Rangers 4-3 on Wednesday night.
Rodriguez (2-0) entered to begin the third inning after Alex Cobb allowed three runs and six hits, including two-out RBI singles by Nate Lowe and Willie Calhoun. The 22-year-old right-hander walked none and allowed only a one-out single to Adolis García, his final batter in the sixth inning.
Angels manager Joe Maddon called Rodriguez’s outing “spectacular.”
“He was the star of the game,” Maddon said. “He defined that game for us and gave us a chance to win.
“Great composure. Everything was working. Attacked with his fastball. Loved everything about it.”
Rodriguez’s innings and 42 pitches were the most in his seven-game big league career, which began April 2. He got his first big league win Sunday with a scoreless inning against Houston.
Rodriguez said the call to the bullpen that early didn’t surprise him.
“I kind of saw the game and how it was going,” he said. “I’m always expecting to go first, second, third, fourth, whatever it is. I’m ready the whole game.”
Four relievers combined for seven innings of scoreless, two-hit relief. Mike Mayers struck out García to strand runners at the corners in the eighth, and Raisel Iglesias pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save in five chances.
“We had seven innings basically to tie that game and couldn’t push a run across,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “That’s a game we’ve got to find a way to win.”
Los Angeles took two of three in the series.
“I was getting very pull happy with all my pitches,” said Dunning, who allowed two hits over his last four innings and retired his last eight hitters. After the first inning, he said he was “just staying back a little bit.”
TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM
Maddon said Cobb, whom he’s known since their days together at Tampa Bay 10 years ago, completely agreed with the early exit. It was Cobb’s shortest start since Sept. 11, 2018 with Baltimore, when he came out after two innings against Oakland because of a blister.
“A very selfless moment on his part,” Maddon saId. “Did not show any of that machismo kind of stuff. He was just being Alex.”
MISSED IT BY THAT MUCH
Angels DH Shohei Ohtani doubled off the top of the left-field wall in the second inning. Crew chief Ron Kulpa requested a review, and the call on the field was confirmed.
Rangers RF Joey Gallo went 0 for 4 after opening the season reaching base in his first 23 games. ... Angels regulars Albert Pujols and Justin Upton (11-game hitting streak) were held out of the lineup going into Thursday’s off day. ... Ohtani’s next pitching start is scheduled for Monday vs. Tampa Bay, a normal turn in a six-man rotation.
Angels: C Max Stassi (left thumb sprain) was activated from the injured list and played the whole game, with C Anthony Bemboom optioned to the alternate training site.
Rangers: OF Khris Davis (strained quadriceps) could be activated before the May 7-9 home series vs. Seattle. Davis returned to the alternate training site on Wednesday. … 1B Ronald Guzman and C Sam Huff each had surgery on his right knee Wednesday,
Angels LHP Andrew Heaney (1-1, 4.35 ERA) will start Friday’s series opener at Seattle, the third and last stop on a 10-game trip.
Rangers RHP Kyle Gibson (2-0, 2.30), who allowed five earned runs on opening day and two in his four starts since, will open a four-game home series Thursday night against Boston facing former Rangers LHP Martin Pérez (0-1, 5.71).
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