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Preview: Angels at Rangers

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Aug 15 2014 12:44:02 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 15 2014 12:44:03 AM CDT

The Los Angeles Angels look to continue taking advantage of the host Texas Rangers when the teams begin a three-game series Friday. The Angels have beaten the Rangers in seven straight meetings - eight of 10 overall this season - and starter Garrett Richards tries to improve his record to 4-0 against Texas in 2014. Los Angeles is two games back of Oakland in the American League West after winning three of its last four and the Rangers are tied for the worst record in baseball (47-74).Mike Trout went 0-for-8 in victories over Philadelphia on Tuesday and Wednesday, but has put up two homers and 10 RBIs in 10 games for the Angels against Texas this season. Slugger Albert Pujols has also punished Rangers' pitching with 13 hits and six RBIs in 34 at-bats in 2014. Adrian Beltre leads the Rangers in homers (17), RBIs (62) and batting average (.314) without much consistent support in the lineup.TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), TXA-21 (Texas)PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Garrett Richards (12-4, 2.54 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Nick Martinez (2-8, 5.22)Richards has managed just one victory in his last five starts despite a 2.48 ERA, giving up one or fewer earned runs three times during that span. The 26-year-old allowed four runs and 18 hits over 19 innings against Texas this season and is 5-1 with a 3.58 ERA in his career versus the Rangers. Elvis Andrus is 8-for-24 against Richards, with 157 strikeouts over 159 2/3 innings.Martinez snapped a seven-game losing streak by limiting Houston to two runs over five innings in a 6-2 victory on Sunday. The 24-year-old rookie allowed two runs and three hits in seven innings June 21 and tossed 2 2/3 scoreless frames of relief May 4 against the Angels without getting a decision. Hank Conger is 2-for-3 against Martinez, who has yielded 104 hits over 88 innings. WALK-OFFS1. Los Angeles 2B Howie Kendrick is 7-for-20 during a five-game hitting streak and boasts 12 career homers versus Texas - the most against any team. 2. Texas OF Leonys Martin went 7-for-13 with three runs scored over the last three games after going 1-for-18 in his previous six. 3. The Angels are second in the majors in runs scored (562) and doubles (236).PREDICTION: Angels 6, Rangers 2