American League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, September 20th (All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (88-60) at LA Angels of Anaheim (81-68), 10:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Yu Darvish (15-9, 4.02) LA Angels - Zack Greinke (5-2, 3.78)
(Sports Network) - Yu Darvish seeks to extend his unbeaten streak to five straight starts on Thursday night when the Texas Rangers conclude a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Darvish has gone at least seven innings in five straight outings, beginning with a tough-luck loss at the Toronto Blue Jays on Aug. 17. The rookie right- hander has gone 3-0 in four starts since, giving up just five runs over 29 innings of work.
Darvish is coming off Friday's win over the Seattle Mariners as he gave up a run on two hits and a pair of walks in seven innings. He also struck out nine to become the 16th rookie since 1900 to reach the 200-strikeout mark in a season. He has fanned 205 over his 176 2/3 frames.
"He throws so many different pitches for strikes, when he throws strikes, that you don't know what to expect," Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton said about Darvish. "It's fun to watch."
The 26-year-old Darvish has gone 15-9 with a 4.02 earned run average through his 27 starts, including a 2-1 mark and 5.32 ERA in four versus the Angels. He was tagged for seven runs on four hits and six walks over five innings in the most recent encounter on Aug. 1 at home.
The Angels counter with a streaking hurler of their own in Zack Greinke, who has gone 5-2 with a 3.78 ERA in 10 games since getting dealt out west by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Greinke is unbeaten in his last five starts with a 1.70 ERA, winning the first four games of that stretch before not factoring into a 3-2 loss at the Kansas City Royals on Saturday. The righty gave up just one run on five hits and two walks over 8 1/3 innings, but was removed following 109 pitches after allowing a single in the ninth.
The bullpen then came in and served up a pair of homers in a blown save.
"We wanted to give them a different look. Obviously it didn't work out," Scioscia said about pulling Greinke.
The 28-year-old Greinke is 3-5 with a 2.81 ERA lifetime versus the Rangers in 12 games (10 starts) and will face them for the first time this season.
After getting blown out in Tuesday's opener, the Rangers responded with a 6-2 victory last night despite being without both Hamilton and third baseman Adrian Beltre.
Hamilton left Tuesday's game early due to problems with his vision, while Beltre sat out on Wednesday due to intestinal issues. It is unknown if either will be able to play tonight.
Without two key pieces to the offense, Derek Holland scattered two runs and six hits over seven innings, going to 4-0 over his last nine starts.
"Derek set the tone," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was very good. He gave us exactly what we needed. As we go down the stretch, Derek is getting stronger."
Geovany Soto clubbed a two-run homer and Michael Young added an RBI and two runs scored for the Rangers, who hold a four-game lead atop the AL West over the Oakland Athletics, who lost on Wednesday.
Alberto Callaspo belted a two-run homer to account for the Angels' offense, as they lost for just the second time in their last six games. They sit 3 1/2 games out of the final wild-card spot in the AL.
C.J. Wilson was tagged for three runs on four hits and three walks in just 2 2/3 frames.
"My two-seamer was running a lot and I fell behind in the count," Wilson admitted. "I still felt I had enough to go further in the game, but that was my fault. I can be my own worst enemy at times."
With his single in the first inning, Angels outfielder Mike Trout broke the franchise's rookie record for total bases in a season with 284. Devon White held the previous record with 283 total bases in 1987.
The Angels have taken eight of 15 versus the Rangers this season, going 5-3 at home.
09/20 10:28:52 ET