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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, August 5th (All times eastern)

Texas Rangers (62-50) at LA Angels of Anaheim (51-59), 10:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Martin Perez (3-3, 3.93) LA Angels - Jerome Williams (5-7, 4.60)

(Sports Network) - Division rivals square off at Angel Stadium, as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim host the Texas Rangers in the opener of a three-game set.

These teams met up last week in Arlington, where the Rangers pulled off a three-game sweep thanks to three straight walk-off victories.

The Angels snapped a six-game slide by winning three straight over Toronto entering Sunday's series finale, but they were unable to notch the four-game sweep as the Blue Jays won, 6-5.

Toronto scored two runs in the eighth inning, then put up two more runs in the ninth to send the Halos to another dramatic loss. A costly throwing error by third baseman Chris Nelson opened the door for Toronto's two-run eighth.

"Uncharacteristically for our clubs, we have lost more games on defense than I can remember," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We got the plays, we just didn't make them."

Mark Trumbo highlighted the Angels' offense with a three-run home run in the fourth inning, as he became the organization's first player to hit 25 homers in each of his first three seasons.

Texas trails Oakland by 2 1/2 games in the AL West, and the Rangers are just a half-game out for the second wild card spot. They just took two of three from the A's over the weekend and have won six of their last seven overall.

Derek Holland was the difference in Sunday's 4-0 victory, as the left-hander struck out 10 batters over eight scoreless innings. Nelson Cruz and Mitch Moreland each went deep to help make Ron Washington the winningest manager in franchise history with 582 wins

"He's going to get a lot more," said second baseman Ian Kinsler. "It's not going to stop here. He has established a winning environment, the players trust him and like playing for him. We're really happy for him. We just want to get that World Series title."

Cruz is one of 12 players slapped with a 50-game suspension Monday for their involvement in the Biogenesis PED case. Cruz batted .269 with 27 homers and 76 RBI, and the Rangers will miss him in their pursuit of an AL West crown.

Meanwhile, Texas will turn to left-hander Martin Perez, who faced the Angels on Wednesday and allowed only one run on four hits over a career-high 7 1/3 innings. It was an encouraging performance for the southpaw after posting a 9.00 ERA over his previous three starts.

"I just need to command the baseball and throw strikes," Perez said. "Just like the last time, nothing different, use all my pitches."

Williams is also coming off a solid outing, as he limited the Rangers to one run in 7 2/3 innings on Wednesday. It marked his deepest start since June 1.

Texas has won seven of nine meetings with Anaheim this season.

08/05 15:11:06 ET