Los Angeles (18-28) at Texas (23-22)

Sunny Currently: Arlington, TX
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 2:05 pm EDT Wed May 24, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Despite struggling lately and occupying last place in the AL West, the Los Angeles Angels continue to frustrate the division-leading Texas Rangers.

Fresh off their first win in seven games, the Angels try for their first series victory this month when they wrap up a three-game set with the Rangers at Ameriquest Field on Wednesday.

The Angels (18-28) beat the Rangers 7-6 on Tuesday, avoiding their first seven-game losing streak since late 2001. The victory was just the Angels’ sixth in 24 games, but 10th in 12 games against Texas.

Los Angeles, which averaged just 2.2 runs during its six-game losing streak, has won just six times in 21 games this month and has not won a series since taking two of three from AL Central-leading Detroit April 24-26.

The Angels are 3-2 against the Rangers this season.

Vladimir Guerrero homered Tuesday and has hit safely in all 41 career games against the Rangers, the longest streak against one team since divisional play began in 1969. Guerrero is hitting .447 (72-for-161) was 14 homers and 33 RBIs during the run.

Kendry Morales made his major league debut for the Angels and homered and had three hits. Morales defected from Cuba in 2004 and was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday.

“Nowhere did it go through my mind that I would have three hits tonight,” Morales said through an interpreter. “The home run, I’ve got no words to describe it.”

Michael Young homered for the Rangers (23-22), who have dropped five of their last eight but still sit atop the AL West, one game ahead of Oakland. Mark Teixeira was robbed of a potential tying homer by Tommy Murphy’s leaping catch at the center field fence in the ninth inning.

Jason Botts, who was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma on Tuesday, replaced struggling cleanup hitter Phil Nevin in the lineup and went 0-for-2 with two walks. Nevin is hitting just .145 in May with 16 strikeouts in 17 games.

Jeff Weaver (1-7, 7.30 ERA) will look to wrap up the series victory for the Angels. He lost his fifth straight start on Friday, allowing four runs and a season-high 11 hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 16-3 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Weaver, who signed a one-year, $8.325 million deal with the Angels in February, has allowed 11 runs in just eight innings in his last two starts. However, he did not allow a homer in Friday’s start for the first time since his season debut on April 5. Weaver had allowed four homers in his previous start on May 14.

Manager Mike Scioscia said that Weaver could eventually lose his spot in the rotation if he doesn’t improve.

“Personnel changes are a last resort, but we’ll contemplate it if it looks like we’re not going in the right direction,” Scioscia said.

Weaver is 1-5 with a 5.33 ERA in nine career appearances, including eight starts, against the Rangers. He has lost both of his starts at Ameriquest Field, earning a 7.15 ERA.

Texas will counter with Robinson Tejeda (1-1, 6.23), who allowed one run and two hits in five innings of a 5-3 loss to Houston on Friday, but did not receive a decision.

Tejeda, who was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma for the second time this season for the outing, has made three starts this season but has never faced the Angels.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Weaver LAD vs. R. Tejeda CLE
8-14 Record 5-5
5.76 ERA 4.28
107 K 40
47 BB 32
1.51 WHIP 1.56