Rangers eye series win against hosting Angels
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers used late power to snap their losing streak and now target a series win over the LA Angels of Anaheim Saturday in the middle portion of a three-game set at Angel Stadium.
The Rangers ended a four-game slide with Friday's 5-2 win over Anaheim thanks to a solo home run by Shin-Soo Choo and a two-run blast from Alex Rios in the decisive sixth inning. Choo added an RBI single in the seventh inning and finished with three hits before leaving the game with a sore ankle.
"I can't say 100 percent, but I'm confident I will play," Choo said of his status for Saturday's game.
Colby Lewis earned the win in the start for Texas and limited the Angels to a pair of runs in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one.
"I was able to throw fastballs where I needed to," said Lewis. "Rios did a great job tonight and so did our bullpen. They came in and did their job."
Joakim Soria later nailed down his seventh save in the ninth.
The Rangers were outscored 25-4 in a three-game sweep at the hands of rival Oakland, and sit two games behind the A's for the AL West lead. The A's lost their opener at Boston Friday night.
Matt Harrison will make his second start of the season Saturday for the Rangers and his 2014 debut was a respectable one, as he delivered six innings of two-run ball in Sunday's 6-5 loss at Seattle. Harrison, making his first start since last April 6 because of a herniated disc in his back, did not record a decision and finished with four strikeouts and two walks.
Harrison, a left-hander, underwent multiple surgeries to correct the problem and made three rehab starts in April. Harrison is 3-5 with a 5.10 ERA in 13 career games (8 starts) against the Angels.
The Angels hope to get back on track and had won three in a row and six of nine games before losing the opener to the Rangers. Hector Santiago was saddled with the loss for surrendering five runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked two.
"Hector pitched better than the linescore shows," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "He just couldn't get out of the sixth, but he pitched a strong game."
Albert Pujols had two hits for Anaheim, while Howie Kendrick and J.B. Shuck were credited with an RBI apiece. Shuck also had two hits in a losing cause.
Anaheim third baseman David Freese left the game after the third inning with a right middle finger contusion. Freese was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the third and an X-ray revealed a non-displaced fracture.
"If you're going to get a slight fracture, it's in a good spot. I guess that's a positive way to look at it," Freese said. "We'll know more tomorrow and the next day, how I react."
Angels outfielder and former Texas star Josh Hamilton is currently on the disabled list with a torn ligament in his left thumb. He said in a few weeks he should be ready to go.
The Halos hope Garrett Richards can revert back to his early winning ways when he takes the ball Saturday. Richards won his first two starts of the season, but has posted three straight no-decisions since, including Sunday's 3-2 loss at Yankee Stadium in which he pitched well over seven innings.
Richards limited the Yankees to a pair of runs and three hits, posting a season high-tying seven K's with two walks. He has lasted seven innings in three of his last four outings and is 2-1 with a 4.60 ERA in 10 games (6 starts) lifetime against the Rangers.
This is the first meeting of the season between these longtime division rivals. Texas dominated last season's head-to-head series with the Halos, winning 15 of 19 meetings.
05/03 09:53:09 ET