Angels and Rangers kick off key series in Arlington

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hope to have super rookie Mike Trout back in the lineup on Monday when they start an important four-game series with the American League West-leading Texas Rangers.

Trout missed Sunday's 2-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday after injuring his knee in another shutout loss on Saturday. The soon-to-be 21-year-old is batting an AL-best .350 with 16 homers, 49 RBI and 31 stolen bases.

"Hopefully he'll get back in there (Monday)," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Trout is hitting .441 (15-for-34) against Texas this season.

The Angels and new starter Zack Greinke missed their leadoff hitter in Sunday's finale with the Rays, as they managed just four hits and fell for the third time in five tries.

Greinke (0-1) pitched well, giving up just two runs on seven hits with a walk and eight strikeouts over seven innings of work. He was acquired on Friday from Milwaukee for shortstop Jean Segura and pitchers Ariel Pena and Johnny Hellweg.

"My fastball command could have been better," said Greinke. "I made a lot of good pitches and some bad ones too. Everything happened pretty fast, with the traveling and meeting people. But once you're on the mound, it's all the same stuff."

Los Angeles, which is in third place, five games back of the Rangers in the division, has not been shut out in three straight games since June 24-26, 1978.

Hoping for some run support tonight will be righty Ervin Santana, who is winless in his last five starts (0-3, 9.41 ERA) and hasn't pitched since failing to get out of the second inning against the Rangers back on July 21.

Santana was battered for six runs and eight hits - 3 home runs - in just 1 2/3 innings of that one to fall to 4-10 on the season to go along with a 6.00 ERA.

Scioscia has admitted that Santana's time in the rotation could be coming to an end.

"Obviously, it's a time in our season where we need production from our starters and we're going to evaluate this thing," Scioscia said.

Santana 12-10 lifetime versus the Angels with a 5.82 ERA in 25 starts.

The Rangers, meanwhile, will counter with righty Roy Oswalt, who had to miss his last start because of tightness in his back and hasn't pitched since beating Oakland on July 17. After two starts that saw him surrender 14 runs in 10 2/3 innings, Oswalt bounced back with consecutive one-run efforts and is 3-1 on the year with a 5.22 ERA.

He has never faced the Angels.

Texas avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, as Scott Feldman spun eight scoreless innings to help the Rangers to a 2-0 win.

Feldman (5-6) fanned five and scattered seven hits. He is 5-0 over his last six appearances -- five starts -- after starting the year 0-6. He's the first pitcher to lose his first six-plus decisions in a season, and then immediately follow with a five-game winning streak.

Joe Nathan worked a 1-2-3 ninth to nail down his 21st save of the year.

The Angels are 5-4 against the Rangers this season.