ARLINGTON, Texas — — Before young left-hander Reid Detmers took the mound for the Los Angeles Angels, manager Phil Nevin had already decided that his captain would have to “do something crazy” if he was going to come through Texas . The Rangers lineup for the third time.
“We all know what that meant,” Nevin said.
Like the 24-year-old former Louisville star bidding for his second career no-hitter.
Detmers got one out in the eighth inning before Marcus Semien, the Rangers’ leadoff hitter in his third at-bat, lined a double to left-center. The Angels went on to shut out the AL West leaders 2-0 on Wednesday night.
“Obviously, the last two weeks have been very stressful, but I put my head down and kept working,” Detmers said. “Going out there today and completing what I did, I can take a breather now. … Almost everything came together in the end. And so, yeah, it feels good.”
Detmers, who had 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 in his other two starts this month. He gave up seven runs without getting out of the third inning at Houston last Friday.
But with the Angels skipping the order of two-way star Shohei Ohtani in the rotation this week, Detmers (3-9) took four days of rest for the first time this season. And the lefty had a 1-0 lead by throwing his first pitch since Ohtani hit his MLB-leading 42nd homer in the top of the first inning.
“It was one of the things we thought about, like getting him back out there so I’m not stuck in his last two outings for a whole week,” Nevin said. “He made some adjustments between starts. … I’m really proud of him. He’s been through a lot for a young kid who will be a big part of our future.”
Reinaldo Lopez and Carlos Estevez then completed the Angels’ eighth shutout of the season. Texas, which entered the game with a team-high .273 average and MLB 1,138 hits, was held scoreless for the ninth time.
“We’re a good offense that had a bad day,” Semien said.
Detmers finished with five strikeouts and four walks. He threw 64 strikes among his 108 pitches, the last in hitting Semien.
Nevin said he was willing to give Detmers every chance to get another no-hitter. The pitcher had thrown only 48 pitches against the Astros and was already going to get more rest before his next start.
“His last start was like a long bull,” Nevin said. “So I’m not going to take that (opportunity) away.”
The manager still had relievers to warm up in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
“I kind of saw where my pitch count was. I was telling myself, I’ve accomplished more than I’ve accomplished in the last two weeks already,” Detmers said. “Would I want to be back out there whatever the pitch was? Yes.”
Lopez drew an intentional walk to All-Star Corey Seager before Adolis Garcia, another Astros, struck out and Nathaniel Lowe hit a ground ball. Estevez gave up a walk to start the ninth, but picked up his 26th save in 28 chances, striking out two of the final 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 cycled around the bases without his 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 disappointed because I just never feel this good,” Gray said. “Just that pitch to Ohtani, I mean, I thought I got it where I wanted it, but he’s a different kind of player.”
Four no-hitters have thrown in the big games this season, two this month. The most recent was Philadelphia right-hander Michael Lorenzen last Wednesday in his first home start for the Phillies since being traded from Detroit.
The Rangers still won their fifth straight, taking two of three from Los Angeles. They snapped their nine-game home winning streak. … Houston won 12-5 at Miami, moving within 2 1/2 games of Texas in the AL West standings.
Angels: After a day off Thursday, left-hander Tyler Anderson (5-4, 5.28 ERA) starts when the Angels return 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 of a three-game series against Milwaukee.
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