Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish is seeking to become the AL's first eight-game winner.
C.J. Wilson is hoping to stick around long enough this time for a full matchup against the Japanese rookie.
These starters meet for the second time Saturday night as Wilson's Los Angeles Angels try to hand the visiting Rangers a season-worst fourth straight defeat.
The first 2012 matchup between these AL West rivals May 11 pitted Darvish (7-2, 3.25 ERA) against Wilson (6-4, 2.77), making his return to Arlington for his first start against his former team.
Wilson, however, was charged with a 10-3 loss after retiring one batter and yielding four runs before a rain delay of nearly two hours forced him out of the game. He made history the next night by becoming the first pitcher to start in consecutive games since 2002.
Darvish took advantage of a six-run lead after one inning in last month's meeting, yielding three runs over 5 1-3 innings for the victory. The right-hander, however, continues to struggle with his control with 35 walks for the majors' fourth-highest total - issuing nine over nine innings in his last two outings.
Another offensive outburst by his teammates helped him win Sunday against Toronto as he gave up three runs over five innings in a 12-6 victory despite pitching with an upset stomach and a sore lower back.
"I'm not looking at it as an injury," Darvish said through an interpreter after the game. "I feel comfortable saying that I should be able to treat this."
Darvish is one win behind Philadelphia's Cole Hamels and St. Louis' Lance Lynn for the major-league lead, with all three pitching Saturday.
Wilson, meanwhile, leads the AL in opponent batting average with the majors' third-best mark at .185. The left-hander has yielded one run and three hits over 14 innings in two straight wins, giving up the run in a six-inning stint Sunday in a 4-2 victory at Seattle.
Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre each went 2 for 4 against him in last month's outings, with Hamilton homering. Beltre is 9 for 23 in his career against Wilson.
Los Angeles (27-26) has won nine of 10 after Mike Trout led the way in Friday's 4-2 victory. Trout hit an RBI triple in the sixth inning and a tiebreaking two-run single in the seventh, giving him seven RBIs in his last four contests.
"He's a good player - a real good player," said Texas manager Ron Washington about Trout. "He's got speed, a little pop in that bat, and he makes contact. He's an exciting-looking little player."
Texas (31-21) has matched its longest slide of the year as it seeks to avoid its worst since a five-game skid June 11-16, 2011.
Second baseman Ian Kinsler's error in the seventh inning Friday led to two unearned runs driven in by Trout as the Angels pulled within 4 1/2 games of the first-place Rangers.
Hamilton had a double in four at-bats after he went 6 for 13 with three homers and six RBIs while the Rangers took two of three from the Angels last month.
- Texas Rangers
- Los Angeles Angels