(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Angels begin a 10-game road trip on Friday night as they visit the Texas Rangers for the first of three straight meetings.
The Angels finished off a two-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies with a 4-3 win on Wednesday, their third victory in four games. They head into their trek holding onto a wild card spot in the American League while also sitting two games behind the first-place Oakland Athletics in the AL West.
Jered Weaver allowed two runs over six innings in Wednesday's win, while Howie Kendrick and Brennan Boesch both drove in a pair of runs.
"It was a battle. I just tried to limit runs and keep us in it," said Weaver. "Our offense came through and our bullpen shut them down."
Garrett Richards will take the mound tonight for Los Angeles having put together a 12-4 record this season with a 2.54 earned run average.
The 26-year-old righty bounced back from two rough outings to log a five-hit shutout of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 4, then faced Boston on Saturday and did not factor into a 5-4 win. Richards was charged with three runs -- one earned -- on three hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings, taking a no-hitter into the seventh frame.
Richards has dominated the Rangers this season, winning all three of his starts against them while posting a 1.89 ERA. He has allowed four runs over 19 innings over that span.
The Rangers lost three of four to the Tampa Bay Rays to begin the week, including a 6-3 setback in Thursday's finale despite homers by Geovany Soto and Rougned Odor.
Robbie Ross Jr., who was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to make the start for an injured Yu Darvish, surrendered six runs on eight hits and two walks over 4 1/3 innings of work.
"He was competing, just made some mistakes with some pitches," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Ross.
Nick Martinez was able to limit the mistakes in his last start for the Rangers and hopes to win his second outing in a row tonight.
The right-handed Martinez won for the first time in 11 outings when he beat Houston 6-2 on Sunday. He allowed two runs on five hits and two walks over five innings to snap an eight-decision skid.
"I don't blow anybody by. I'm not one of those guys that can throw it upper 90s," Martinez said. "I really have to locate, and if I can make hitters feel uncomfortable by feeling up in the zone I think that will work to my strengths."
Next up for the 24-year-old will be trying to secure his first home victory of 2014 as he is 0-4 with a 7.86 ERA in seven games (5 starts) in Arlington.
Martinez faced the Angels for the first time as a starter on June 21 and got a no-decision with seven innings of two-run ball.
The Angels have won eight of 10 versus the Rangers this year, including seven straight overall. They swept a four-game set in Texas from July 10-13.