Texas (80-66) at Los Angeles (83-63)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Anaheim, CA
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Fri Sep 17, 2004
  • TV: KDFI, KCAL
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Bartolo Colon is doing his share to keep the Anaheim Angels in the thick of the playoff race.

The hard-throwing right-hander looks to continue his second-half resurgence when the Angels open a three-game series with the visiting Texas Rangers.

Colon, signed to a four-year, $51 million contract in the offseason, struggled to a 5-8 mark with a 6.57 ERA through July 3. However, he has been one of the best pitchers in the AL since, winning 10 of his last 13 decisions, including an 11-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

Colon reached the 15-win mark for the third straight season, surrendering six hits while striking out six and walking one over seven innings. He credits a change in mechanics for his drastic turnaround.

“I made a change to pitch from the first-base side of the mound rather than the middle,” Colon said through a translator. “It’s much better for running my fastball in and out.”

Colon has allowed two runs and 12 hits over 14 innings in winning his last two starts, striking out 13 and walking just two.

The Angels remained within two games of first-place Oakland in the AL West by beating Seattle 6-1 on Thursday to earn split of the four-game series with the last-place Mariners. Anaheim also remained within 5 1/2 games of Boston for the wild card.

David Eckstein went 2-for-4 with two runs scored for the Angels, who snapped a two-game skid.

The Rangers had a chance to pull within three games of the A’s, but lost 5-4 at Oakland on Thursday, settling for a four-game split and dropping five games back.

Making matters worse, Alfonso Soriano left the game in the eighth inning after injuring his left leg on a headfirst slide, putting the rest of his season in doubt. The All-Star second baseman will have an MRI exam Friday.

“It doesn’t look very good,” manager Buck Showalter said. “But we won’t comment until the MRI.”

Soriano was hurt while stealing third base. He easily beat the throw, but appeared to get his left foot caught under his right leg as he reached out for the bag.

Soriano felt pain behind his left knee.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said. “Right now, I can’t feel the tendon behind the knee. About three or four feet before I got to the base, I started my slide, and I felt something.”

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Starting Pitchers

C. Park Pit vs. B. Colón NYM
4-7 Record 18-12
5.46 ERA 5.01
63 K 158
33 BB 71
1.44 WHIP 1.37