Los Angeles (50-49) at Texas (41-59)

Fog Currently: Arlington, TX
Temp: 37° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Thu Jul 24, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Kevin Appier would like to start turning around what has been a dismal July. That won’t be easy against a team that has beaten him as often as the Texas Rangers have.

Appier tries to rebound from a pair of rough outings this month when the Anaheim Angels conclude a two-game series against the Rangers at The Ballpark in Arlington.

The veteran right-hander is 0-2 with a 13.00 ERA in three starts this month. He couldn’t make it out of the second inning in his last start, yielding seven runs and seven hits in 1 1-3 of an 8-4 loss at Baltimore on Saturday.

The other bad start during that stretch was against the Rangers, which isn’t that surprising considering his poor history against them. Appier fell to 7-17, easily his worst mark against any team, after yielding five runs in 2 2-3 innings of a 6-5 loss on July 3. He has a 5.06 ERA in 32 career games, including 30 starts, against the Rangers.

The Rangers prepared to face Appier by scoring seven times in the first two innings and beating the Angels 12-9 Wednesday. Shane Spencer drove in four runs and hit his first home run since coming to Texas in a trade with Cleveland, helping the Rangers overcome an early 4-0 deficit.

The 29 hits the teams combined for were impressive considering both put star sluggers on the 15-day disabled list. The Angels’ Troy Glaus, last season’s World Series MVP, has an injured right shoulder, while the Rangers’ Juan Gonzalez has a strained right calf.

The timing is particularly bad for Anaheim, which has lost six of seven since the All-Star break and has fallen 10 1/2 games behind first-place Seattle in the AL West.

“It definitely affects the dynamics of our lineup,” Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia said. “Troy wants to be playing. Nobody feels good about taking a step back. Hopefully, it will be short term.”

Texas snapped a three-game losing streak and won for just the third time in 10 games.

STANDINGS: Angels - 3rd place, 10 1/2 GB, AL West. Rangers - 4th place, 20 GB, AL West.

ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Appier (6-6, 5.44 ERA). Appier is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts against Texas this year. The Rangers are batting .297 against him this season and have hit four homers in nine innings.

RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Joaquin Benoit (5-4, 5.25 ERA). Benoit tries to win his third straight decision. The right-hander, who turns 26 on Saturday, allowed three runs in five innings as Texas beat Tampa Bay 7-3 last Saturday. He was hit hard in a 5-0 loss to Anaheim on July 2, and is 2-2 with a 4.79 ERA lifetime against the Angels.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Angels - Garret Anderson, .322 avg., 23 HRs and 85 RBIs; Tim Salmon, 55 runs; Adam Kennedy and David Eckstein, 11 SBs. Rangers - Michael Young, .323 avg. and 9 SBs; Gonzalez, 24 HRs and 70 RBIs; Alex Rodriguez, 66 runs.

SEASON SERIES: Rangers, 7-5.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Angels - Anaheim pitchers have allowed 37 earned runs over their last 49 innings (6.80 ERA). … INF Scott Spiezio is batting .320 (62-for-194) with 15 doubles and 28 RBIs over his last 58 games. … OF Darin Erstad’s homer Wednesday was the 100th of his career. Rangers - Rafael Palmeiro played in his 1,513th game for the Rangers, the most in team history, when he had an RBI single as a pinch-hitter in the sixth. … OF Doug Glanville is 21-for-40 his last nine games, raising his average from .201 to .276. … INF Young has 43 multihit games, second in the majors.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Angels - 21-29 on the road; Rangers - 24-27 at home.

INJURIES: Angels - 3B Glaus (shoulder), 15-day DL; INF Brad Fullmer (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Mickey Callaway (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Wise (elbow), 60-day DL. Rangers - OF Gonzalez (calf), 15-day DL; OF Kevin Mench (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Ricardo Rodriguez (hip), 15-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Appier Sea vs. J. Benoit SD
8-9 Record 8-5
5.40 ERA 5.49
55 K 87
43 BB 51
1.46 WHIP 1.43