Long out of playoff contention, the Texas Rangers want to end their season on a positive note.
The Rangers look to maintain their strong play of late as the continue their three-game series with the Anaheim Angels at The Ballpark in Arlington.
Mark Teixeira drove in two runs and Michael Young had three hits Friday to lift the Rangers to a 3-2 win over the Angels in the series opener. R.A. Dickey allowed one run and five hits over six innings, while striking out six and walking one for the Rangers.
Texas has won four of five to continue a respectable second half of the season. After finishing the first half with 38-55 mark, the AL West cellar dwellers have gone 31-30 since the All-Star game.
“When you get good pitching, the defense matters more, runs matter more,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said.
“We have never looked at the standings,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We came out to win a ballgame, and where you finish is where you finish. We didn’t reach our goal of making the playoffs.”
Salmon has 32 career homers against the Rangers, fifth among Texas opponents.
STANDINGS: Angels - 3rd place, 20 GB, AL West. Rangers - 4th place, 23 GB, AL West.
ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Aaron Sele (7-10, 5.50 ERA). Sele is 0-1 with a 6.32 ERA over his last four starts and hasn’t had a win since beating Minnesota 10-7 on Aug. 21. The veteran right-hander didn’t receive a decision in Anaheim’s 5-1 loss to Seattle last Saturday, scattering two hits over four scoreless innings but leaving after the fourth because of back spasms. Sele is 4-2 with a 5.04 ERA and one shutout in 16 career appearances against Texas, including 15 starts.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Colby Lewis (8-9, 7.67 ERA). Lewis is 2-0 with a 5.24 ERA over his last three starts. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed four runs and nine hits over six innings of Monday’s 6-4 win over Seattle, striking out three and walking two. Lewis is 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA in three career appearances against the Angels, including two starts.
SEASON SERIES: Rangers, 8-6.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Angels - OF Salmon has 17 career homers at The Ballpark in Arlington, tying Toronto’s Carlos Delgado for the most by a Rangers opponent. … OF Anderson is two doubles short of reaching 50 for the second straight season. Three only current major leaguers to have back-to-back seasons with 50 doubles are Houston’s Craig Biggio, Seattle’s Edgar Martinez and Colorado’s Todd Helton. … OF Darin Erstad, out since early August with hamstring tendinitis, has been taking early batting practice. His goal is to get back in the lineup before the end of the season. Rangers - SS Rodriguez is hitting .375 in 32 career at-bats against RHP Sele with one double, three homers and nine RBIs. … 2B Young was 3-for-4 Friday and is hitting .577 (15-for-26) over his last six games. … Texas is 20-13 against Anaheim the last two seasons.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Angels - 31-47 on the road; Rangers - 42-37 at home.
INJURIES: Angels - 3B Troy Glaus (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Erstad (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Wise (elbow), 60-day DL; C Bengie Molina (wrist), 60-day DL; INF Brad Fullmer (knee), 60-day DL. Rangers - INF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Juan Gonzalez (calf), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL; OF Kevin Mench (wrist), 60-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (back), 60-day DL; RHP Ricardo Rodriguez (hip), 60-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL.