Shoe­maker is re­silient in win

An­gels starter gives up three runs in the first in­ning but bat­tles back against Rangers.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Mike DiGio­vanna mike.digio­vanna@la­times.com Twit­ter: @MikeDiGio­vanna

An­gels starter bat­tles back af­ter giv­ing up three runs in first in­ning.

AR­LING­TON, Texas — Rock­ets were fly­ing all over Globe Life Park in the bot­tom of the first in­ning Mon­day night, and there was no life pre­server in sight for An­gels pitcher Matt Shoe­maker.

Not that he was look­ing for one. When you sign as an un­drafted free agent out of col­lege and spend six full sea­sons in the mi­nor leagues be­fore get­ting a whiff of the big leagues, you don’t ex­pect any hand­outs.

So af­ter get­ting pounded for three runs and four hits and putting his team in an early hole against the Texas Rangers, Shoe­maker didn’t look to­ward the An­gels bullpen for help.

He re­turned to the dugout for a quick dam­age as­sess­ment.

“Man, that in­ning stunk — it was ter­ri­ble,” the righthander said. “You re­flect on it for four sec­onds, then you just for­get about it. There’s noth­ing you can do about it. It al­ready hap­pened.”

Whether it was well­timed am­ne­sia or a re­fusal to be rat­tled, Shoe­maker seemed like a dif­fer­ent pitcher in the sec­ond. He gave up no runs and two hits over the next 5 1 ⁄3 innings, and the An­gels scored four runs in the fifth for a 6-3 come-from-be­hind victory.

Collin Cowgill hit a score-ty­ing two-run home run to cen­ter field, and David Freese hit a two-run homer through a strong cross­wind to right field — his third of the sea­son — in the fifth, as the An­gels snapped a three­game los­ing streak and notched their 14th win in their last 17 games in Globe Life Park.

Shoe­maker, who went 16-4 with a 3.04 earned-run av­er­age and fin­ished sec­ond in Amer­i­can League rookie-of-the-year vot­ing last sea­son, went 6 1 ⁄3 innings, giv­ing up three runs and six hits, strik­ing out seven and walk­ing one to im­prove to 2-0 for the sea­son and 9-0 with a 1.92 ERA since Aug. 9, 2014.

“There’s a pres­ence to him on the mound,” Manager Mike Scios­cia said. “He’s not out there all hy­per and get­ting dis­tracted. He showed last year he could re­ally pitch out of trou­ble. That was just a great game from where it started to where it ended up.”

Leonys Martin opened the first with a sin­gle. ShinSoo Choo struck out, but Adrian Bel­tre lined a sin­gle to cen­ter, Prince Fielder laced a run-scor­ing sin­gle to cen­ter, and Mitch More­land lined an RBI dou­ble to right­cen­ter.

Elvis An­drus hit a sac­ri­fice fly for a 3-0 lead, but that also be­gan a stretch in which Shoe­maker re­tired 10 straight bat­ters be­fore giv­ing up a two-out bloop dou­ble to Car­los Peguero in the fourth.

“The first four or five hit­ters, ev­ery­thing was up and flat, and those guys didn’t miss any­thing,” Scios­cia said. “Then Shoe’s com­mand started to come, he got the ball down and brought all his pitches into the game. Pitch­ing into the sev­enth af­ter the first four hit­ters says a lot about some of the ad­just­ments he made.”

It also says a lot about Shoe­maker’s re­silience and makeup.

“When you get to know Matt, when you look at his ca­reer and what he’s done — sign­ing as an un­drafted free agent, work­ing his way up the lad­der — he’s bat­tled his whole life to get here,” re­liever Joe Smith said. “Guys who go through that road aren’t the types who give up, who call it a night af­ter one bad in­ning.”

Ron­ald Martinez Getty Images

COLLIN COWGILL of the An­gels cel­e­brates af­ter hit­ting a two-run home run in the fifth in­ning against Texas. Cowgill’s homer tied the score.

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