American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, June 2nd (All times eastern)
Texas Rangers (31-21) at LA Angels of Anaheim (27-26), 10:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Yu Darvish (7-2, 3.25) LA Angels - C.J. Wilson (6-4, 2.77)
(Sports Network) - C.J. Wilson will try to help take down his former team for the second time this season when the LA Angels of Anaheim host the Texas Rangers for the second part of a three-game series at Angels Stadium of Anaheim.
The American League West rivalry continued last night as the Angels picked up a 4-2 victory in the series opener as Mike Trout hit a go-ahead single in the seventh inning and Jerome Williams earned a win by holding the explosive Rangers to two runs over seven innings.
The Angels did not record an extra-base hit until the sixth inning in what was a pitchers' duel. Albert Pujols drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Trout finished the game with three RBI.
"I'm just staying positive and I had a feeling I was going to come through," said Trout.
Pujols now has a team-leading 29 RBI. Mark Trumbo, who leads the team with a .340 batting average and 10 home runs, had his six-game hitting streak snapped in the win and will attempt to start a new one tonight.
Wilson (6-4) actually started two games in a row versus the Rangers when his new squad faced his former team earlier this season due to a rain delay spoiling his first try. He was shelled and gave up four runs in one-third of an inning before rebounding with a more respectable performance the next night with 5 2/3 innings pitched and two runs allowed, getting a no-decision in his club's 4-2 win.
The southpaw has been excellent recently. Wilson won his last two starts by only allowing three hits and one earned run while fanning 12 in 14 innings.
The Angels triumph put them 4 1/2 games back of their opponent in the divisional standings heading into Saturday.
Texas will send out its ace, Yu Darvish, to try to fend off Los Angeles in the race for first place. Darvish will become the American League's first eight- game winner if he takes down the Angels once again.
Darvish took advantage of Wilson's first-inning no-show in his first encounter with the Angels and went 5 1/3 innings despite having to sit while waiting for the weather to clear. The right-hander was sensational at the start of the season, going 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA in April, but cooled off and went 3-2 with a 4.50 ERA in May.
Darvish has walked 35 batters this season, which is the fourth-highest total in the majors. His rookie season is still one of the highlights of the season.
"I've been really happy with his development and his contributions and the adjustment that he made," Rangers president and former pitching great Nolan Ryan said of Darvish. "I think probably most of us, if not all of us, do not really understand maybe the challenges that he has and the transition he's going through. So I'm very pleased from what we've seen from him."
The Rangers' pitching staff has been fortunate to have a powerful offense to provide run support. Texas leads the majors with 293 runs scored and a .287 batting average. The success at the plate has been charged by Josh Hamilton's remarkable season. The Rangers' left fielder is leading the American League in home runs (21) and RBI (57) while ranking second to Chicago's Paul Konerko in batting average (.366).
Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus have thrived in the lineup aside Hamilton, as Beltre is sixth in the AL in batting average (.323) and Andrus close behind at 11th (.303).
Both the batters and pitching staff will need to come to play tonight to avoid a five-game losing streak, which would be a new season high.
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 three-game winning streak in the Angels' home stadium was snapped on Friday.
06/02 10:32:40 ET