ARLINGTON, Texas – Before struggling young left-hander Reid Detmers took the mound for the Los Angeles Angels, manager Phil Nevin had already decided that his starter would have to be “doing something crazy” if he was going to go through the Texas Rangers'' lineup a third time.
“We all know what that meant,” Nevin said.
Like the 24-year-old former Louisville star making a bid for his second career no-hitter.
Detmers took a no-no into the eighth inning before Rangers leadoff hitter Marcus Semien, in his third at-bat, lined a one-out double into the left-center gap. The Angels went on to shut out the AL West leaders 2-0 on Wednesday night.
“Obviously, the last couple weeks have been a grind, very stressful, but I just kind of put my head down and kept working,” Detmers said. “Going out there today and accomplishing what I did, I can take a breath now. ... Pretty much everything kind of came together finally. And so, yeah, it feels good.”
Detmers, who threw a no-hitter as a rookie last season against Tampa Bay, had gone 0-4 in his previous six starts. He allowed 14 runs over 6 1/3 innings combined his two other starts this month. He gave up seven runs without getting out of the third inning at Houston last Friday.
But with the Angels skipping two-way star Shohei Ohtani's turn in the rotation this week, Detmers (3-9) pitched on four days of rest for the first time this season. And the lefty had a 1-0 lead throwing his first pitch since Ohtani hit his MLB-leading 42nd homer in the top of the first inning.
“It was kind of one of the things that we thought about, like get him back out there, so not to dwell on his last couple of outings for a whole week,” Nevin said. “He made some adjustments in between starts. ... I’m really proud of him. He’s gone through a lot for a young kid who’s going to be a big part of our future.”
Reynaldo Lopez and Carlos Estevez then finished off the Angels’ eighth shutout this season. Texas, which entered the game with .273 team batting average and an MLB-high 1,138 hits, was held scoreless for the ninth time.
“We’re a good offense who had a bad day,” Semien said.
Detmers finished with five strikeouts and four walks. He threw 64 strikes among his 108 pitches, the last on the hit by Semien.
Nevin said he was prepared to give Detmers every opportunity to get another no-hitter. The pitcher had thrown only 48 pitches against the Astros, and was already going to get his normal longer rest before his next start.
“His last start was like a long bullpen,” Nevin said. “So I’m not going to take that (opportunity) away."
The manager still had relievers warming up in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
“I kind of saw where my pitch count was. I kept telling myself, I've accomplished more than I've accomplished the last two weeks already,” Detmers said. “Would I have wanted to go back out there no matter what the pitch count? Yeah.”
Lopez issued an intentional walk to All-Star shortstop Corey Seager before Adolis Garcia, another All-Star, struck out and Nathaniel Lowe hit an inning-ending flyball. Estevez gave up back-to-back singles to open the ninth, but got his 26th save in 28 chances by striking out two of the last three batters.
Ohtani, the designated hitter, went the opposite way for a 437-foot homer to left-center in the first inning off Jon Gray (8-6). The slugger trotted around the bases without his batting helmet, which came off when he swung and connected. He later had two infield singles.
Gray struck out four and walked two while allowing one run over seven innings.
“I’m a little frustrated because I just don’t ever feel that great,” Gray said. “Just that one pitch to Ohtani, I mean, I thought I got it where I wanted to, but, he’s a different kind of player.”
ALMOST ANOTHER ONE
There have been four no-hitters thrown in the majors this season, two this month. The most recent was Philadelphia right-hander Michael Lorenzen last Wednesday in his first home start for the Phillies after being traded from Detroit.
The Rangers still won their fifth series in a row, taking two of three from Los Angeles. They did have their nine-game home winning streak snapped. ... Houston won 12-5 at Miami, moving to within 2 1/2 games of Texas in the AL West standings.
Angels: After an off day Thursday, left-hander Tyler Anderson (5-4, 5.28 ERA) starts when the Angels are back home for a series opener against Tampa Bay.
Rangers: Andrew Heaney (9-6, 4.17), who is 4-0 with a 2.54 ERA in his last six starts, will be on the mound Friday for the opener for a three-game series against Milwaukee.
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