Rangers face tough task against Santana, Angels

The Texas Rangers are doing their best to make the American game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium.

Texas has won the first two games of this series to move six games ahead of the second-place Halos. On Tuesday, Michael Young had three hits and three RBI to help back 8 2/3 strong innings from Derek Holland in the Rangers' 7-3 triumph.

Josh Hamilton also had three hits, including a homer, while Mitch Moreland went 3-for-5 with a two-run single for Texas, which has won five in a row and eight of nine.

The Rangers totaled 17 hits -- more than enough offense for Holland (11-4), who gave up three runs on nine hits and fanned seven.

"I mixed in fastballs and sinkers. I was able to keep them off-balance," Holland said. "When we score runs, it's my job to shut them down."

Angels rookie starter Tyler Chatwood (6-9) surrendered five runs in only two- plus innings, his shortest outing of the season. He faced 16 batters and allowed eight hits and two walks, putting his team in a hole.

The Angels couldn't climb out of it and lost for the fourth consecutive time.

The Rangers have now scored at least seven runs in all five games of their current road trip, surpassing the previous streak from May 27-30. The last time Texas scored seven-plus runs six straight games was May 31-June 5, 2008.

Texas may have a tougher go of it tonight, however, as they go up against one of the hottest pitchers in the league in right-hander Ervin Santana, who has pitched to a minuscule 0.84 earned run average in winning his last five starts.

Santana's latest masterpiece came on Friday in Toronto, as he allowed one run in a complete game win to up his record to 9-8 on the year, while lowering his ERA to 3.10. It was his third complete game in four starts, which, of course, includes a no-hitter at Cleveland on July 27.

"Everything is working how I want," said Santana, who is 6-0 over his last nine starts and has pitched to a 1.50 ERA in that span. "It is a nice feeling, especially in the second half when we need it."

Santana has struggled in his two starts against the Rangers this season, posting an 0-1 mark with an 8.18 ERA, but hasn't faced them since May 15. In 22 starts against the Rangers Santana is 11-8 with a 5.66 ERA.

Texas will throw an impressive hurler of its own in left-hander C.J. Wilson, who is 11-5 with a 3.28 ERA. Wilson beat the Oakland Athletics on Friday, holding them to a run and four hits over six innings.

Wilson lost to the Angels the last time he faced them and is 4-4 with a 3.42 ERA against them in 36 games. This, though, will be only his 10th start against the club.

The Rangers have won six of their 11 meetings with the Angels this season.