ARLINGTON -- Colby Lewis, pitching for the first time in 10 days, blamed it all on his lack of fastball location."I felt great," Lewis said. "The big thing was my fastball was up in the zone. My other pitches were working. I felt my fastball was there and then it would go away. It felt I was fighting all night to get the ball down in the zone." Lewis, in his first start since returning from paternity leave, didn't have as rough a night as his bullpen, but he still gave up five runs in five innings and the Rangers went down, 15-4, to the Angels at Rangers Ballpark on Tuesday night. The Angels scored 11 runs in the final four innings off relievers Mason Tobin, Michael Kirkman and David Bush. The game was delayed 11 minutes at the start by a severe thunderstorm that canceled the Angels pregame batting practice. That hardly seemed to bother them as they pounded the Rangers for 15 hits, including three home runs. This was the Rangers' worst margin of defeat since an 11-0 loss to the Angels on Sept. 28, 2009. "Long night," said designated hitter Michael Young, who had a single to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. "They swung it well and pitched it well. We'll file it away and come back tomorrow." The Rangers had nine hits, but only three in the first six innings against Angels starter Matt Palmer. The Rangers, down 3-1 in the fourth, had the bases loaded with one out and couldn't score with the bottom of the order up. Palmer struck out Yorvit Torrealba and retired Mitch Moreland on a grounder to short to end the threat. "I love throwing against Texas," Palmer said. "Any time there's competition at the highest level, that's where I want to be. Against any of the big teams, I want to come in and throw hard. It felt really good to get this one."
The Angels bottom four hitters -- Alberto Callaspo, Mark Trumbo, Hank Conger and Peter Bourjos -- were a combined 11-for-17 with 11 runs scored, two home runs and 10 RBIs."They were all over the bases all night," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Once we didn't do anything in the fourth, it went downhill from there." The Rangers committed four errors, their most in one game since committing five against the Mariners on July 29, 2008. They had committed just two errors in their previous nine games, leaving them ranked third in the American League in team defense. Rangers relievers entered the game with a 2.87 ERA, fourth best for a bullpen in the league. That soared to 4.01 after they allowed 11 runs, eight earned, against the Angels. The Rangers' overall ERA went up from 2.83 to 3.38. "They didn't get the job done, simple as that," Washington said. Rangers reliever Mason Tobin left the game after just four batters with pain in his right elbow. He will have an MRI on Wednesday but he has spent the past two years dealing with severe elbow problems that resulted in three separate operations. A trip to the disabled list is likely. Lewis, 1-2 with a 5.82 ERA, was pitching for the first time since taking paternity leave to witness the birth of his daughter, Elizabeth. His lack of command led to three walks and two of them ended up scoring. He also gave up a pair of home runs. Mark Trumbo hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Macier Izturis hit a solo shot in the fifth. Lewis has allowed five home runs in 17 innings over his first three starts. His velocity hasn't been as good as it was last season but his location was what bothered him the most on Tuesday. "I felt the off-speed stuff was there but I couldn't get the ball down with the fastball," Lewis said. Lewis walked Callaspo with one out in the second. Callaspo stole second, went to third on catcher Yorvit Torrealba's throwing error and scored on a single by Trumbo. Callaspo also drew a walk with one out in the fourth. Lewis then fell behind, 3-0, to Trumbo and threw an 86 mph fastball. But Trumbo wasn't taking. He smashed one into the left-field seats for a two-run home run. "I was trying to throw a fastball down and away and it was middle up," Lewis said. Izturis had a leadoff home run in the fifth to make it 4-1 and the bullpen took over after that. Kirkman got hit the hardest, allowed six runs, five earned, in 1 2/3 innings Kirkman allowed just three runs in 16 1/3 innings over 14 relief appearances last season for the Rangers. But he has allowed 18 runs in 8 1/3 innings between the Rangers and two starts for Round Rock so far this season.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.