The Rangers will open a three-game series in L.A. with RHP Tommy Hunter going up against Angels RHP Ervin Santana. A quick look at the matchup:
Hunter (8-0, 2.31 ERA): The 24-year-old Hunter is one of two major league pitchers (the Cubs' Carlos Silva is the other) to win each of his first eight decisions. Hunter already has the best start to a season in Rangers history and is tied for the third-longest win streak by a Texas starter. The right-hander will be making his 11th start and appearance of the season Friday on four days' rest. In his start last Sunday, Hunter led the Rangers to a 6-4 win over the Angels. In that game, he gave up three hits and three earned runs in 6 1/3 innings. In three career starts against L.A., Hunter is 1-2 with a 7.24 ERA.
Santana (9-7, 3.55 ERA): The 27-year-old from the Dominican Republic crushed the Rangers last Saturday, allowing only two runs on five hits over eight innings. Texas' runs came from solo home runs from Michael Young and Nelson Cruz. Santana has pitched significantly worse at home (4.39 ERA) than the road (2.73 ERA). The righty has three complete games in his 20 starts and has struck out 115 batters while walking 42.
Hitters: Michael Young (20-for-50) leads the Rangers with a .400 batting average against Santana, while the team will miss second baseman Ian Kinsler's bat (.357 against Santana). Outfielder Josh Hamilton has particular trouble with Santana (2-for-18, no extra base hits). Juan Rivera's .429 average against Hunter leads the Angels, while Bobby Abreu has the most at bats (nine) against the righty, with a .222 average.