ANAHEIM -- Brandon McCarthy was good, holding the Angels to two runs in six innings. McCarthy also had some luck of the Irish with him, as 13 of the 18 outs he recorded were caught by his outfielders. In the end, though, it didn't matter, as his chance for his first Major League victory in over a year slipped away with the Rally Monkey hopping all over the Angel Stadium scoreboard.
The Rangers bullpen let it slip away, as the Angels scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and rallied for a 7-5 victory on Thursday night. The loss snapped the Rangers' three-game winning streak and -- since this was an August game between a first-place team and a second-place team -- it should be pointed out that the Rangers are now 16 games out of first place in the American League West. "It's frustrating we didn't get the win," McCarthy said. "I don't care if I get the win or not. It was a tough way to end the game. We started off well, but it got away from us in the end." The Rangers are now 4-6 against the Angels this season. "They're very good," outfielder Marlon Byrd said. "They don't give up. That's what good teams do. We're a good team and we don't give up. But they know how to play the game, and they shut it down in the end. If you want to be a good team, then they're a good team to watch." McCarthy was given a 4-0 lead in the first inning on a three-run home run by Milton Bradley and a run-scoring double by Chris Davis. In the top of the fourth, Davis added his 14th home run of the season, and McCarthy was able to leave the game after six with a 5-2 lead. He didn't overpower the Angels. He allowed six hits, only struck two and there were more than a few line drives hit right at his outfielders. But he was still able to give the Rangers their fourth straight quality start, a first for them this season. "I felt I threw some good pitches and they were able to get their bats on them and square some of them up," McCarthy said. "It wasn't a superior outing, but I was pitching to contact and fortunately they hit it at some guys." That was good enough for Washington. "He's a fly-ball pitcher," Washington said. "Even if they're line drives, they're still fly balls. They might have hit them pretty good, but they still register as outs." It was the pitches that came later that frustrated Washington. Joaquin Benoit put up a scoreless seventh, and Washington was hoping that Wright would do the same in the eighth. That would leave the ninth for Frank Francisco, a formula that worked on Wednesday in Kansas City. "I felt if we got it to Francisco," Washington said, "we'd be feeling pretty good." They didn't get that far. The Angels are not the Royals. Wright retired Mark Teixeira on a ground ball, but both Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter singled. Wright, trying to hard to get an inning-ending double play, then walked both Garret Anderson and Mike Napoli to force in a run. "Frustrating," Wright said. "I was rushing from the get-go, trying to make the perfect pitch to get a ground ball rather than throwing strikes and seeing what happens. I'm not as disappointed walking Anderson as I am the next guy. You can't defense a base-loaded walk." Washington then brought in Warner Madrigal, the Rangers' hard-throwing rookie reliever. Madrigal came out throwing sliders and got Brandon Wood to pop out. That brought up Juan Rivera to pinch-hit for rookie second baseman Sean Rodriguez. Madrigal missed with a slider, then threw his first fastball of the night. Rivera hit it off the wall in deep right-center to give the Angels a 6-5 lead. "No doubt Rivera is a fastball hitter," Washington said. "You don't have to be a good fastball hitter though to hit that one." Two more base hits by Chone Figgins and Reggie Willits added another run, and Francisco Rodriguez closed it out in the ninth for the Angels.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.