W2W4: Angels at Rangers


ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers host the Los Angeles Angels for a four-game series beginning at 7:05 p.m. CT Thursday at Globe Life Park.

While the Rangers are in a tailspin with 18 losses in their past 21 games, the Angels have won eight of 10 and are 16 games over .500.

This is the Angels' first of three visits to Arlington this season. The two previous series between the clubs were played in Anaheim. The Rangers won two of three in early May and were swept in three games this past month.

Keep an eye on:

* Mike Trout is putting together an MVP-type of season, with .303 batting, 20 home runs and 64 RBIs. Rangers pitchers actually handled Trout well in the first six meetings this season and limited him to three hits in 22 at-bats.

* Since being promoted to the Rangers on Monday, Jake Smolinski has rapped out five hits for a .500 batting average in two starts. The Rangers are in position to look at young players, and so far Smolinski is taking advantage.

* Former Ranger Josh Hamilton comes to Arlington in a hitting slump -- batting .120 over the last week. Hamilton's power numbers (five homers, 22 RBIs) have been reduced in part because of a thumb injury that has limited his season to 42 games so far.

* Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has a 13-game hitting streak after two more hits Wednesday, which raised his average to .336. At Globe Life Park, Beltre is batting .371.

* Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick is 14-for-30 in his past eight games, which raised his batting average 17 points to .289. Against the Rangers this season, Kendrick is batting .318.