(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will try to gain ground
on the AL West-leading Texas Rangers today as the division rivals take the
field in the second of a three-game series in Arlington.
The Angels will hope C.J. Wilson (4-3) will perform better in his second try
today after giving up four runs and a earning a losing decision in just one-
third of an inning on Friday in his first bout with his former club.
Saturday's original projected starter, Jerome Williams, took over after a
two-hour rain delay and did not do any better against the Rangers' lineup.
Wilson will get another shot at it as he makes a rare back-to-back start.
"Two hours is too long for C.J. to go back out," Angels manager Mike
Scioscia said, "and he felt really strong that he could come back and start
(Saturday), and we felt that was the best option."
Prior to yesterday's poor outing, Wilson had been very efficient in a Los
Angeles uniform this season. The lefty ace entered Friday with a 2.61 ERA but
it took his former teammates just 22 pitches to worsen it to 3.46. Wilson came
in on a personal two-game winning streak after nice outings versus Minnesota
The last time a pitcher started back-to-back games was former Texas right-
hander Aaron Myette, who was ejected after four pitches back on Sept. 3, 2002,
then got the nod again the following day.
Los Angeles had no answer for the Rangers' offense or pitching in the delayed
opener on Friday. Texas newcomer Yu Darvish (5-1) was in control during 5 1/3
innings on the mound and struck out seven Angels during that time.
Albert Pujols has not had the same overall success as Wilson since joining the
Angels this season. The three-time former National League MVP went 0-for-4 on
Friday which lowered his season batting average to .192. The usually dangerous
first baseman still has just one home run in the first season of his 10-year,
$254 million contract with the Angels.
"Come on, man, there's still a lot of games left," said Pujols, whose career
batting average is .326. "It's just one game. We just need to come back
tomorrow and put ourselves in a situation to try and win the series on
Angels outfielder Mike Trout had his fifth straight game with a hit on
Friday as he went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. The only other run in
the 10-3 loss came when Torii Hunter hit a solo shot off Darvish.
The Rangers will be looking for their fifth win in six games to improve their
MLB leading 22-11 record, which equals their best 33-game start in franchise
Josh Hamilton continued to amaze on Friday in the series opener. He extended
his hitting streak to 11 games by belting two home runs and adding a single
for good measure. The Texas outfielder is leading the MLB with a .407 batting
average, 17 home runs, and 40 RBI.
"He's unbelievable right now. He's as locked in as I've ever seen anybody,"
teammate Mitch Moreland said about Hamilton. Moreland also contributed on
Friday with a homer of his own.
The Rangers' offense has been unstoppable so far. Elvis Andrus is riding an
11-game hitting streak as well. Adrian Beltre and Craig Gentry are both
carrying batting averages above .300 for the season.
Texas will hope Matt Harrison (4-2) can replicate Darvish's success today.
Harrison had struggled in his two previous starts before rebounding to throw
seven strong innings in a 14-3 win over Baltimore on Monday. The tall lefty
has shown the ability to get into a groove as he surrendered only one earned
run in his first 14 innings this season.
Harrison has not had the type of success he would like against the Angels in
the past. In five games, three of which were starts, he is 1-2 with a 5.95
ERA against the Angels.
Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter are both 1-for-10 against Harrison in their
The Rangers won 12 of 19 over the Angels last season, though was just 5-4
against them in Texas.
The Sports Network