Looking to avoid a season-high sixth straight loss, the reeling Rangers again try to jump-start their sagging lineup in the continuation of a key weekend home series with the Angels on Saturday night.
The Rangers are 7 1/2 games behind the Angels (88-59) after being shut out for the fourth time in five games to set a franchise-first. Texas has scored once in 46 innings and was blanked for the 11th time this season - the most since 2003
“It just came at a bad time,” Rangers president Nolan Ryan said. “It’s so unusual for what you think of for this franchise. Over the years, I’ve seen good hitting clubs go into slumps, but I’ve never seen a stretch like there where the whole team just didn’t hit.”
While Texas - seven games behind wild-card leader Boston - continues to fade from postseason contention, Los Angeles is closing in on its third consecutive division title after winning for the second time in seven games in Arlington.
If the Angels go 7-8 the rest of the way, the Rangers would have to go 15-1 just to force a division tiebreaker.
Texas continues to suffer without All-Star Michael Young(notes) in the lineup after a strained hamstring has limited him to one at-bat since Sept. 1. Young, who’s batting .322 overall and .346 against Los Angeles this season, is day to day.
The right-hander, who was 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA in his previous three starts, allowed five runs and eight hits in 7 1-3 innings of a 5-3 loss at New York on Monday.
Having already set a career high for wins, Weaver is the only member of Los Angeles’ rotation from the beginning of the season that has not missed a scheduled start.
Weaver is 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 13 starts against Texas, and 2-1 with 30 strikeouts and a 4.88 ERA in four this season.
Vladimir Guerrero(notes) had two hits, including a homer, Friday for the Angels. The slugger is batting .325 in his last 11 games, but .235 against Texas’ scheduled starter Scott Feldman(notes) (16-5, 3.65), who’s coming off his first loss since July 29.
Feldman, who was 7-0 with a 2.29 ERA in his previous eight starts, gave up six runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 9-0 loss to Oakland on Monday.
The right-hander is 3-2 with a 5.90 ERA in seven starts against Los Angeles, but 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA in three this year.