Defending AL champion Texas hopes to regain some momentum when it opens a three-game home series against the streaking Angels, who look to win their sixth in a row.
Following a 9-1 start, Texas (10-5) has dropped four of five since Hamilton broke his arm April 12. The slump continued Sunday with a 6-5 loss at the New York Yankees.
Returning to Arlington for the next 10 games may help the Rangers regain their footing. They are 6-0 at home for the first time since 1996, and are trying to open with seven consecutive home victories for the first time in franchise history.
However, they’ll open the homestand against the Angels (10-5), who missed the playoffs last year but are now trying to win their sixth straight.
“Bring it on,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Los Angeles swept a three-game set at the Chicago White Sox over the weekend, closing the series with a 4-2 victory Sunday.
“We were scuffling at the first of the year,” Dan Haren(notes), who gave up two runs in 6 1-3 innings to earn Sunday’s win, told the Angels’ official website. “Now we’ve got a big series coming up. Texas got off to a good start. They’re the team to beat.”
Los Angeles has limited the opposition to 10 runs during its five-game winning streak, with the starters going 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA and a .183 opponent batting average.
The Angels will try to continue their strong pitching against a Rangers lineup missing some punch without Hamilton. Texas has hit .227 and scored 14 runs in its last four games.
Michael Young(notes) hasn’t been part of the slump. The Rangers’ veteran infielder is riding an eight-game hitting streak, and batting .522 over his last six games with six RBIs and five doubles. He went 3 for 4 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI in Sunday’s loss.
Santana has limited the opposition to three runs in each of his three starts this season. He allowed six hits in seven innings of a 4-3, 12-inning win over Cleveland on Wednesday.
The right-hander was 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA in four starts against Texas in 2010.
C.J. Wilson(notes) (1-0, 3.72) will take the mound for the Rangers after yielding four runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-4 loss to Detroit on Tuesday. Wilson had allowed four earned runs in his previous two starts combined.
He said a sore left hamstring that cut short his final spring training outing after two innings was still bothering him.
“It’s getting better; I don’t feel it,” Wilson told the Rangers’ official website. “But I’m still looking for power, and it’s not there.”
The left-hander went 2-1 with a 3.72 ERA in five starts against the Angels last season.