American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, September 27th (All times Eastern)
LA Angels of Anaheim (78-81) at Texas Rangers (88-71), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - C.J. Wilson (17-7, 3.36) Texas - Alexi Ogando (7-4, 2.93)
(Sports Network) - Hopefully it's not too little too late for the Texas Rangers.
Texas tries to move closer in the wild card standings on Friday when they continue a four-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Texas won its fourth straight game in thrilling fashion on Thursday, as pinch-hitter Jurickson Profar clubbed a leadoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to send Texas to a 6-5 win.
Profar launched a 1-1 offering from Michael Kohn (1-4) to right field, helping keep the Rangers one game behind Cleveland for the second AL wild card spot.
"I was just trying to have a good at-bat, get on base," Profar said. "I made a perfect swing, it went out."
The Angels are all too familiar with this ending. During the Angels' last visit to Arlington from July 29-31, the Rangers swept the three-game series, with all the wins coming via a walk-off homer.
"It's definitely weird, four walk-offs in a row," said Kohn. "It's not the ballpark. It's just a matter of executing pitches."
Joe Nathan (6-2) preserved the tie in the top of the ninth by striking out Mark Trumbo with the go-ahead run on third base.
"Those guys battled back and beat us. We haven't held leads the way we can in this ballpark at times, and that's what happens," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "There are some times we've come in here and played well and held leads. It's just this year has been rough on us."
Standing in the Rangers' way on Friday will be former teammate C.J. Wilson, who is in the midst of a career year. Wilson, though, lost to Seattle on Sunday, as he allowed three runs and eight hits in 8 1/3 innings to fall to 17-7 to go along with a 3.36 ERA.
"As a starter, you're trying to go out there and make all your starts and throw as many innings as you can," said Wilson, who has recorded four straight 200-inning seasons. "That's your job, so I'm just out there doing my job.
"The wins that I had this year and the innings, strikeouts and all that stuff, that's for fantasy baseball players. Real baseball players are concerned about winning for the team."
Wilson is 1-2 in seven starts against the Rangers with a 7.92 ERA.
Texas, meanwhile, will counter with Alexi Ogando, who is 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 23 games (5 starts) against the Angels.
Ogando has been terrific since returning to the Rangers rotation. He allowed one run in five innings to beat Tampa two starts ago, then pitched seven scoreless innings in a no-decision against Kansas City on Sunday. He is 7-4 on the year with a 2.93 ERA.
"My arm feels good and strong, and my velocity is back," Ogando said. "I'm healthy. I've worked hard for this."
Texas is 12-4 versus the Angels this season.
09/27 10:38:50 ET