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W2W4: Rangers at Angels

9/19/2014

The Rangers begin their final road series of the season, a three-game set against the Los Angeles Angels. The Rangers have struggled badly against the Angels this season, going 3-13.

Here’s a preview:

What’s up with the Angels? There’s little drama going on with the newly crowned AL West champions. However, RF Josh Hamilton has been shut down after dealing with sharp, stabbing pains in his chest and right rib cage. Hamilton’s status for the postseason is uncertain. No matter, the Angels are 2 ½ games ahead of Baltimore for the best record in baseball and are assured of at least home-field advantage in the ALDS. Expect the Angels to sit their regulars in the final days of the regular season.

What’s up with the Rangers? They’re playing spoiler and have won a season-high six consecutive games. During this stretch, the Rangers have messed up the playoff hopes of Atlanta and now Oakland, which is barely holding onto the second wild card spot in the AL. During this six-game win streak, opponents are hitting just .217 and the pitchers have a 2.00 ERA. In Thursday’s win over the Athletics, 3B Adrian Beltre became the all-time career hits leader for players from the Dominican Republic with 2,591.

The Battle for No. 1: The Rangers have a nice win streak going that is not only boosting confidence in the clubhouse, but could also help Tim Bogar's case to become the full-time manager next season. Despite their recent success, the Rangers still hold the worst record in baseball at 60-92, 2 ½ games back of Arizona and Colorado (62-91).

The pitching matchups: Friday: RHP Lisalverto Bonilla (1-0, 4.66) vs. LHP Hector Santiago (5-8, 3.55). Saturday: Colby Lewis (10-13, 5.12) vs. RHP Jered Weaver (17-8, 3.50). Sunday: RHP Nick Tepesch (5-10, 4.47) vs. RHP Cory Rasmus (3-1, 2.57).