Los Angeles Angels (78-82) at Texas Rangers (89-71)
Saturday, September 28 - 12:05 PM EST
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
The Texas Rangers didn’t require another late home run to defeat the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, but they got a much-needed jolt anyway. The Rangers eye a sixth consecutive victory and look to forge a two- or three-way tie in the American League wild card race Saturday when they continue their four-game home set against the Angels. Texas could not close a one-game gap on red-hot Cleveland, but wild-card leader Tampa Bay lost to fall into a tie with the Indians.
By virtue of their own win and the Rays’ setback in Toronto, the Rangers only need to continue their recent home success against Los Angeles and hope Cleveland or Tampa Bay drops at least one of their final two games. Friday’s victory ended a four-game streak in which Texas had defeated Los Angeles at home with a walk-off homer. The Angels, who have dropped six in a row in Arlington, would like nothing more to deal a severe blow to the hopes of the AL West rival that has beaten them in 13 of 17 meetings this season.
TV: 12:05 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), FSN Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Garrett Richards (7-7, 4.09 ERA) vs. Rangers LH Derek Holland (10-9, 3.33)
Richards, coming off the worst of his 12 starts since rejoining the rotation on July 27, looks to rebound after surrendering seven runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings in Monday’s 10-5 loss versus Oakland. The 25-year-old, who had won his previous three decisions, was 5-2 with a 2.87 ERA prior to the setback. One of the victories over that stretch came Sept. 7, when he held the Rangers to two runs (one earned) in seven frames.
Holland was masterful in his last outing, beginning the Rangers’ winning streak with a six-hit shutout in Monday’s 12-0 win over Houston. The victory ended an eight-start winless skid for the Ohio native, who has yielded two runs over his last 15 frames after surrendering 12 over his previous 8 2/3 innings. Holland has enjoyed much less success against the Angels, going 7-6 with a 5.81 ERA against them in his career.
1. Saturday's game was moved up eight hours because of a weather forecast that called for moderate showers and thunderstorms in the area by early afternoon.
2. The Angels (78-82) have guaranteed themselves their fourth losing season in manager Mike Scioscia’s 14 seasons at the helm.
3. Texas’ home winning streak is its longest such run in the regular season since it won seven in a row to close out 2011.
PREDICTION: Rangers 3, Angels 2