The Texas Rangers will try to add to their lead in the American League West this evening when they continue their four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Texas owns a 5-2 edge thus far in this year's season series and swept a two- game set from the Angels in Arlington back in May. Anaheim has lost in 10 of 13 visits to Rangers Ballpark since the start of last season.
Yesterday, that trend continued, as C.J. Wilson threw eight shutout innings and Michael Young homered in the opening frame, lifting Texas to a 1-0 win.
Young and Nelson Cruz each had two hits for the Rangers, who won by a 3-2 count Thursday thanks to a solid effort from Cliff Lee. One night later it was Wilson's (9-5) turn and the southpaw didn't disappoint, as he allowed four hits and fanned three without walking a batter.
Neftali Feliz retired the side in order in the ninth for his 27th save.
Joe Saunders (6-10), who has just one victory in his last seven starts, just can't seem to buy a road win against Texas. The lefty limited the Rangers to seven hits, walked one and fanned six over seven innings, but has lost all six of his lifetime starts in Arlington.
With the win the Rangers now own a seven game lead over the Angels in the race for the AL West title.
If the Angels are going to keep pace with Texas they will need Ervin Santana to post another stellar performance. Santana might be winless in his last two starts, but in those matchups the right-hander has allowed just two runs on six hits, while striking out seven batters.
The last time Santana was on the hill he held the Mariners to one run in seven innings, but a lack of run support eventually led to a 2-1 setback for Anaheim.
Away from home this season the 27-year-old has a solid ERA of 2.79 in nine starts, but has just a 4-4 record to show for his efforts.
Clearly Santana is no stranger to the Rangers, having started 16 games against the divisional foe, but in those matchups he has not enjoyed tremendous success. Although he has an 8-6 mark in those matchups, Santana still enters this contest with a dreadful 6.06 ERA against the Rangers.
Heading to the mound for the Rangers will be Scott Feldman, who is looking to snap a personal five-game winless streak. Feldman has been rather inconsistent on the year for Texas, and is coming off a rough outing against Detroit.
In the contest against the Tigers, Feldman was roughed up for five runs on seven hits in five innings. However, despite his poor performance, Texas was still able to walk away with an 8-6 victory.
Earlier this season the Hawaii native surrendered five runs on nine hits in a loss to the Angels. With that setback Feldman fell to 4-5 in his career against Anaheim and that lackluster record comes with an equally poor 5.54 earned run average.