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Preview: Angels at Rangers

Current Conditions – Arlington
SUNNY 84 °F
Wind: S 7
5-Day Forecast GAME: Los Angeles Angels (83-75) at Texas Rangers (86-72)
DATE/TIME: Thursday, October 01 – 8:05 PM EST
WHERE: Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A

The Texas Rangers look to inch closer to the American League West title when they open a pivotal, season-ending four-game set versus the visiting Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. The Rangers took two of three from Detroit and can eliminate the Angels from the division title conversation with one victory in the series.

Adrian Beltre launched a two-run homer in Wednesday’s 6-2 victory over the Tigers and has collected 32 hits in his last 19 contests. While Texas has won six of nine to hold a three-game advantage over Los Angeles, the latter had claimed seven victories in a row before a season-high four errors led to its undoing in an 8-7 setback to Oakland on Wednesday. Mike Trout homered among his three hits in the series finale versus the Athletics and has recorded 18 hits in the Angels’ last 13 games. Trout has tormented Thursday starter Derek Holland in his career, going 10-for-29 (.345) with a pair of homers and nine RBIs.

TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), FSN Southwest (Texas)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels LH Andrew Heaney (6-3, 3.29 ERA) vs. Rangers LH Derek Holland (3-3, 4.99)

Heaney has pitched well in three consecutive starts but has a trio of no-decisions to show for it. The rookie allowed two runs in six innings for the second straight outing on Monday but still is searching for his first win since Sept. 2. Heaney emerged victorious in his lone start versus Texas, permitting two runs and six hits in as many innings of a 13-7 triumph on July 26.

Holland has struggled mightily of late, going 0-2 with a gaudy 8.59 ERA over his last four starts – including a no-decision versus Houston on Monday in which he allowed four runs and seven hits over five innings. The 28-year-old was taken deep three times by the Astros and five times overall during his pronounced stretch. Holland last tasted victory versus Los Angeles, against which he permitted one run and three hits in eight innings of a 2-1 triumph on Sept. 5.

WALK-OFFS

1. Los Angeles 2B Johnny Giaviotella has recorded six RBIs during his seven-game hitting streak.

2. Texas DH Prince Fielder has registered 13 hits, 12 RBIs and six runs scored in his last eight contests.

3. Angels 3B David Freese is 4-for-8 with a homer and three RBIs in his last two games.

PREDICTION: Rangers 5, Angels 2