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Millwood's return doesn't last long in Rangers' loss to Angels

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kevin Millwood's first start since coming off the disabled list was short and frustrating for the Texas Rangers.

Millwood gave up a first-inning grand slam to Casey Kotchman and left after five outs with an aggravated hamstring in the Los Angeles Angels' 7-2 victory over the Rangers on Monday.

Millwood (2-4), who had been sidelined since April 28 with a strained left hamstring, allowed four runs and three hits with three walks.

"I kind of misstepped, actually to the first batter in the game," Millwood said. "It got sorer as I went on. In the second inning, I couldn't get out over my front leg. It's not easy to pitch that way."

Jered Weaver (2-3) allowed six hits in a season-best seven innings for the Angels. He struck out five, walked two and threw 57 of 87 pitches for strikes.

Hank Blalock hit his fourth homer in the fourth inning and Brad Wilkerson homered off Darren Oliver in the ninth for Texas.

"That's the best I've felt all year," Weaver said. "Everything was consistent. I feel like I'm back to normal. Getting a 4-0 lead in the first takes the pressure off the pitcher's shoulders."

The Angels took three of four from Texas in the series and have won six of seven against the Rangers this season.

The grand slam was the second of Kotchman's career. He has 11 home runs in three major league seasons, including three this year. He has two homers in three career at-bats against Millwood.

Kotchman, who walked in his other three plate appearances, attributed his success to working with hitting coach Mickey Hatcher.

"There was something in my setup with my feet that was affecting my balance," Kotchman said. "It's let me swing free and easy.

"The three walks, that's more my role on the team, to get on base. That's what's expected of me."

Reggie Willits and Gary Matthews Jr. walked and Orlando Cabrera singled to set up Kotchman's slam. Los Angeles has gone ahead in the first inning in each game against Texas, outscoring the Rangers 17-0.

"After the first inning, there's still eight more to play," Texas' Michael Young said. "We've got plenty of time to go out there and score runs."

After a 33-minute rain delay in the third, Los Angeles stretched its lead to 7-0 by scoring three times against Willie Eyre. Mike Napoli hit an RBI double and Tommy Murphy followed with a two-run single for the Angels.

Rangers manager Ron Washington was not optimistic about when Millwood would pitch again.

"Hamstrings are tough, and he uses his legs so much that we need his legs healthy," Washington said.

Kotchman was among a couple of Angels who had a strong series against the Rangers, making up for a rare off one by Vladimir Guerrero.

Guerrero has 21 homers and 51 RBI in 61 career games against the Rangers, but drove in just one run in the four-game series.

But Kotchman was 6-for-14 (.429) with five RBI, Willits stretched his hitting streak to nine games and was 6-for-17 (.353) with five runs scored, and Cabrera's two hits Monday put him at 8-for-20 (.400) with four runs and two RBI.

Notes

  • Texas has been outscored in the first inning 31-8 this season, including 10-0 in this series.
  • Rangers 1B Mark Teixeira's first-inning single stretched his hitting streak to 12 games.
  • The Angels scored at least six runs in each of the four games against Texas.
  • During the rain delay, Weaver went to the Angels' bullpen and threw 15 pitches. He said that helped him loosen up.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Kevin Millwood, just off the DL, leaves in the second inning with an aggravated hamstring.  (AP)
Kevin Millwood, just off the DL, leaves in the second inning with an aggravated hamstring. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

H. Blalock
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Anaheim

C. Kotchman
AB 1
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
 

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Los Angeles Angels
Reggie Willits, LF3110201 .358
Orlando Cabrera, SS5020011 .278
Vladimir Guerrero, DH4100014 .341
   a- Shea Hillenbrand, PH-DH1000000 .223
Gary Matthews Jr., CF4210120 .302
Casey Kotchman, 1B1214300 .256
Erick Aybar, 2B3000002 .253
Mike Napoli, C4111011 .218
Tommy Murphy, RF4012001 .250
Chone Figgins, 3B4000000 .137
Totals3377765  
a-grounded out for Guerrero in the 9th
Batting
2B - Mike Napoli (5, Eyre)
HR - Casey Kotchman (3, Millwood)
SH - Erick Aybar (1)
RBI - Casey Kotchman 4 (17), Mike Napoli (5), Tommy Murphy 2 (2)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Jer. Weaver-Aybar-Kotchman
Los Angeles Angels
Jered Weaver (W,2-3) 7611251 3.62
Chris Bootcheck 1000020 3.38
Darren Oliver 1211001 8.68
Pitches-Strikes - Jered Weaver 87-57, Chris Bootcheck 17-12, Darren Oliver 22-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jered Weaver 7-8, Chris Bootcheck 1-0, Darren Oliver 1-2
Batters Faced - Jered Weaver 28, Chris Bootcheck 3, Darren Oliver 5
Texas Rangers
Kenny Lofton, CF4010001 .240
Michael Young, SS4010001 .239
Mark Teixeira, 1B4010021 .289
Sammy Sosa, DH4000032 .268
Hank Blalock, 3B3121100 .289
Brad Wilkerson, LF4121002 .241
Gerald Laird, C3010101 .219
Nelson Cruz, RF4000014 .185
Ian Kinsler, 2B4000014 .236
Totals3428227  
Batting
HR - Hank Blalock (4, Jer. Weaver), Brad Wilkerson (6, Oliver)
RBI - Hank Blalock (15), Brad Wilkerson (19)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Gerald Laird (3, Throwing)
Texas Rangers
Kevin Millwood (L,2-4) 1.2344301 6.62
Willie Eyre 3.1333230 3.86
Frank Francisco 2100110 0.82
C.J. Wilson 2000010 2.55
WP - Willie Eyre (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 45-24, Willie Eyre 71-41, Frank Francisco 33-24, C.J. Wilson 25-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 3-2, Willie Eyre 5-2, Frank Francisco 1-4, C.J. Wilson 4-1
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 11, Willie Eyre 15, Frank Francisco 8, C.J. Wilson 6
Game Information
Attendance - 23421
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Tim Timmons, First Base - Rick Reed, Second Base - Chuck Meriwether, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez