Streaking Angels go for sweep of first-place Rangers
(Sports Network) - The LA Angels of Anaheim will try for a much-needed sweep as they host the American League West divisional rival Texas Rangers for the final segment of their three-game series at Angels Stadium of Anaheim.
The Angels managed to escape Saturday's contest with a 3-2 victory due to six scoreless innings from C.J. Wilson and a crucial two-run seventh inning that features two controversial calls. Mike Trout was called safe at the plate much to the dismay of the Texas dugout. Trout provided the only extra base hit for the home team in the pitching duel, which saw LA down heralded Rangers starter Yu Darvish.
Darvish and the Texas bullpen did force the Angels to go 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and leave 19 runners on base. Albert Pujols was very patient in the victory and improved his on-base percentage by reaching base on balls twice.
Mark Trumbo has not seen the success he would have liked in this series after hitting a home run in four straight games coming into the series. The left fielder is 0-for-8 in the first two games. Trout has picked the slack by going 4-for-8 with three RBI.
Dan Haren will be on the mound tonight as the Angels try to sweep the Rangers for the first time since 2008. The right-hander comes in with a 3.52 ERA after winning each of his last two starts. Haren threw a shutout against Seattle on May 24 before he followed it up with a one-run performance against the Yankees.
"This is how we expected to play," Haren said after outdueling New York's Andy Pettitte his last time out. "It's not like we're playing out of our minds. This is what we expected coming out of spring."
The Angels have won 10 of 11 coming into the series finale and will look to build on that as Haren faces Texas for the first time this season.
Matt Harrison will take the mound for Texas, which still holds a 3 1/2-game lead in the standings. Harrison is 6-3 with a 4.62 ERA this season and has picked up back-to-back wins in his last two starts. Harrison is 2-3 with a 4.62 ERA in five starts and the same number of relief appearances in his career versus the Angels.
Although the Rangers were upset with a few of the calls made on Saturday, the team is accepting the blame.
"We're a better baseball team than we've been showing," Texas Manager Ron Washington said. "It's up to them to show it."
Josh Hamilton, who is having one of the best seasons at the plate by any player in recent history, was unable to convert with the based loaded and two outs in the ninth inning. The Rangers were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position as a team.
"A very ugly performance and we lost by one run," Washington said.
Anaheim lost two of three meetings with Texas from May 11-13 and six of the past seven matchups between the teams heading into the series. The Rangers now have a two-game losing streak in the Angels' home stadium after enter the series with a three-game winning streak.