Alex Rodriguez can’t set home run records if he’s not in the lineup.
So, after missing his first game in more than three years, Rodriguez will try to continue his run at the all-time home run mark for shortstops when the Texas Rangers open a season-ending three-game series against the Anaheim Angels.
Rodriguez, the major league leader with 47 home runs this season, is one away from tying Cal Ripken’s mark for shortstops of 345.
Rodriguez didn’t play Wednesday in a 5-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics, ending his consecutive games streak at 546. Rodriguez, who sat out for the first time since July 23, 2000, was getting ready to pinch hit in the ninth, but the game ended when Einar Diaz hit into a double play.
”(Manager Buck Showalter) gave me the option,” Rodriguez said. “It’s no big deal. The streak means nothing to me. I’ll start a new one Friday. The streak just shows my love for the game. I would never want to play just to extend something.”
With Wednesday’s loss, the Rangers are assured of a fourth-place finish in the AL West for the fourth straight season. Texas has dropped four straight and 10 of 15.
Anaheim, which beat the Seattle Mariners 4-0 on Wednesday, has won two straight and three of four.
Garret Anderson went 1-for-4 for the Angels and picked up his 198th hit of 2003. He is looking for his first 200-hit season.
Anderson is also two doubles shy of becoming only the fourth player in history to hit 50 doubles in consecutive seasons.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia says closer Troy Percival will not pitch anymore this season because of minor forearm tendinitis. Percival finished with 34 saves and a 3.47 ERA.
“I don’t think there’s much that he needs to go out there and prove these last few days,” Scioscia said. “He’s had a terrific year, so I don’t think there’s any reason to take a chance and risk any further injury.”
STANDINGS: Rangers - 4th place, 26 GB, AL West. Angels - 3rd place, 21 GB, AL West.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: R.A. Dickey (9-8, 5.17 ERA). The right-hander earned a win against Anaheim in his last start, giving up one run and five hits while striking out six in six innings as the Rangers won 3-2 on Friday. Dickey was 0-3 with a 10.80 ERA in his previous four starts. He is 1-0 with a 0.96 ERA in four career games against Anaheim.
ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Aaron Sele (9-11, 5.84 ERA). The right-hander is 0-2 with a 10.04 ERA in his last four starts. Sele allowed six runs and seven hits in 2 2-3 innings as the Angels lost 13-4 to the Rangers on Saturday. He is 4-3 with a 5.48 ERA in 17 games against Texas.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rangers - Michael Young, .309 avg.; Rodriguez, 47 HRs, 117 RBIs, 122 runs and 16 SBs. Angels - Anderson, .314 avg., 29 HRs and 116 RBIs; Anderson and Tim Salmon, 78 runs; Adam Kennedy, 22 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Rangers, 9-7.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rangers - OF Ryan Christenson is batting .545 (5-for-11) against RHP Sele. … Texas has lost 14 of its last 16 road games. … OF Jason Jones snapped an 0-for-22 skid with two hits in four at-bats Wednesday. Angels - 2B Kennedy is batting .411 (7-for-17) in his last five games. … OF Anderson is among AL leaders with 13 outfield assists. … OF Salmon is batting .458 (11-for-24) in his last six games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 27-51 on the road; Angels - 43-36 at home.
INJURIES: 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. Angels - IF Troy Glaus (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Darin Erstad (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Wise (elbow), 60-day DL; C Bengie Molina (wrist), 60-day DL; IF Brad Fullmer (knee), 60-day DL.