American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, June 10th
(All times Eastern)
LA Angels of Anaheim (14-18) at Texas Rangers (21-11), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - C.J. Wilson (4-2, 2.61)
Texas - Yu Darvish (4-1, 2.54)
(Sports Network) - C.J. Wilson has seen first hand just how dangerous the
Rangers' lineup can be.
Texas' former ace will try to shut down his old teammates this evening as
Wilson squares off against the Rangers, and the pitcher they signed to replace
him, for the first time when the Los Angeles Angels visit Arlington for the
opener of a three-game series.
A key part of a Rangers club that made back-to-back World Series appearances,
Wilson signed a five-year, $77.5 million deal with the Angels this past
offseason as part of an overhaul that also saw Los Angeles land slugger Albert
Pujols through free agency.
Wilson made the shift to full-time starter in 2010-11 for the Rangers and went
31-15 with a 3.14 earned run average in 67 starts while helping Texas capture
consecutive American League West titles. He did struggle in the postseason,
going 1-5 with a 4.82 ERA in 10 appearances.
Still, the left-hander was a big key to Texas' success in the previous two
seasons, but that won't stop him from a likely chilly reception tonight.
"I think the biggest thing will just be that we'll be playing in front of a
huge crowd in a stadium that's relatively hostile to our team -- and I'm sure
will be fairly hostile to me," Wilson told MLB.com. "I think a lot of people
will boo me and stuff.
"The main objective is just focusing on the baseball aspect of it and
preparing to get their guys out."
Wilson has certainly done that so far for the Angels, repaying their
investment with six quality starts in six games, going 4-2 with a 2.61 earned
run average while striking out 39 batters over 41 1/3 innings.
The 31-year-old won his second straight outing on Saturday, holding the Blue
Jays to two runs, six hits and three walks over a season-high eight innings.
His nine strikeouts in the victory marked his second-highest single-game total
Wilson won't have starting catcher Chris Iannetta, who will undergo right
wrist surgery on Friday after an injury suffered during Jered Weaver's no-
hitter on May 2. Iannetta was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat and suffered
a fracture that is expected to keep him out for 6-to-8 weeks, though he did
remain in that game.
Not only will Wilson be facing his former team for the first time, but he'll
also be opposed by his replacement in the rotation, Yu Darvish.
The Rangers signed the Japanese import to a six-year, $56 million, a cheaper
cost than Wilson though Texas needed to post a $51-plus million posting fee to
secure his negotiating rights over other MLB teams.
Darvish, who faces the Angels for the first time, has adjusted to the North
American baseball very well, winning his first four decisions before suffering
a setback on Sunday at Cleveland.
The 25-year-old righty gave up four runs -- three earned -- over six innings
and struck out a career-high 11 batters, giving him 30 punchouts over his past
"He threw well enough to keep us in the ball game. We just didn't support him
with any runs today," Texas manager Ron Washington said about Darvish, who is
4-1 with a 2.54 ERA on the season.
The Angels trail the first-place Ranges by seven games for first place in the
division, but have begun to turn things around as of late. They have won four
of five and seven of 10 since a 7-15 start, though they have been shut out in
each of their past four losses.
That wasn't the case on Wednesday as Mike Trout went 3-for-5 with a pair of
RBI and two runs scored in a 6-2 win over the Twins.
The 14-hit attack was a welcome sight for winning starter Ervin Santana, who
won his first game of the season after throwing 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball.
Los Angeles did not score a single run for Santana over his previous five
"We haven't been getting him much support," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said
about Santana. "He battled a little bit tonight with command early, but he
pitched deep into the game and he did a good job pitching with the lead."
Pujols added two hits and a pair of runs driven in, making him 4-for-18 with a
homer and six RBI in four games since getting the night off on Saturday.
Like the rest of the American League, Pujols is looking up in the statistical
categories at Texas' Josh Hamilton, who leads the majors with a .395 batting
average, 15 homers and 38 RBI. He went 8-for-17 with six homers and 12 RBI in
the Rangers' four-game series with the Orioles, belting a two-run homer to
help them take the nightcap of yesterday's doubleheader, 7-3, and three of
four in the series.
"We've been playing good baseball against a pretty good baseball team. They
challenged us in all four of the games we were here and we were fortunate
enough to get three of them," said Rangers manager Ron Washington.
Texas lost the opener 6-5 after starter Colby Lewis gave up five homers
despite striking out a career-high 12.
Elvis Andrus has been doing a great job setting the table for Hamilton as he
has a 10-game hitting streak and has reached base in 28 straight games.
The Rangers won 12 of 19 over the Angels last season, though was just 5-4
against them in Texas.
05/11 10:35:31 ET