Garland can't duplicate first start

Garland can't duplicate first start

ANAHEIM -- The setting may have been different, but Jon Garland fell victim to a familiar nemesis on Sunday, as the Angels lost to the Rangers, 10-4.

The big right-hander, acquired by the Halos in a November trade with the White Sox, gave up seven earned runs in five innings during his first home start as a member of the Angels.

Garland had been eager to pitch at Angel Stadium since the trade, longing for a fair park after spending the first eight years of his career pitching in the bandbox known as U.S. Cellular Field for the White Sox, but the Rangers seem to get to him no matter where he faces them. Garland came into the game with a 5.50 ERA in 16 career starts against Texas, and didn't do anything to lower that number on Sunday.

A pair of home runs -- a three-run shot by Gerald Laird in the fourth and a two-run blast by Ben Broussard in the fifth -- were the main culprits that sealed Garland's fate. But that was only a part of the damage, as Garland gave up eight hits, two walks and hit two batters during his outing. It was an afternoon to forget for the Southern California native -- first home start or not.

"I never want to have that kind of start," said the pitcher. "I was lost out there. My mechanics were all over the place, and I didn't really establish myself on the mound. I threw too many balls, and didn't start too many guys off with strikes."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia pulled his starter after the fifth with the Angels still in the game, down 7-4. Garland already had thrown 91 pitches.

"He battled the whole way," Scioscia said of Garland. "He just missed spots on a couple of hitters, and they didn't miss the pitches. They swung the bats well. Gerald's a guy that has a little bit of pop, and he showed it today."

Laird, a product of La Quinta High in Westminster, added a solo home run in the ninth, giving him four hits and six RBIs for the game -- both career bests. It was the second multi-homer game of his career.

Garland's outing Sunday couldn't have been much more opposite than what he did in his Angels debut, when he tossed eight innings of one-run ball in a win at Minnesota on Tuesday.

One of the main differences between the two starts, according to Scioscia, was that Garland "got behind some counts more today than he did in Minnesota."

The Halos did manage a few bright spots on offense, as Torii Hunter and Garret Anderson hit solo home runs. Hunter's blast to center in the fourth was his first at Angel Stadium as a member of the Halos.

Second baseman Howie Kendrick had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 12 games dating back to last year. He is now batting a robust .444 on the young season.

Reliever Scot Shields made his season debut, pitching a scoreless eighth inning, allowing one hit and striking out one. Shields was activated from the 15-day disabled list Saturday after missing the first week of the season because of tightness in his right forearm.

Right fielder Vladimir Guerrero went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, continuing his recent power outage against Texas. He has not homered in his last 67 at-bats against the Rangers.

The Halos dropped two games of the three-game series.

Richie Brand is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.