Angels-Rangers Preview

The Associated Press

While the reeling Texas Rangers are probably thrilled to reach the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Angels likely don't want anything to interrupt their surge.

Looking for a fifth consecutive victory, the Angels can record their first four-game road sweep of the Rangers by handing them an eighth straight defeat overall and at home Sunday.

Howie Kendrick had three hits with one RBI on his 31st birthday and Jered Weaver threw seven solid innings Saturday as Los Angeles (56-37) won for the ninth time in 10 games, 5-2.

Winners of 18 of 22 overall, the Angels have posted a 38-15 run advantage during a six-game winning streak over Texas (38-56).

"When you're playing good, it all seems to come together," outfielder Kole Calhoun told MLB's official website.

Texas is in danger of dropping eight straight at home for the first time since a nine-game slide in 1990, has lost 21 of 24 and owns the worst record in the majors. The Rangers have totaled two runs and 10 hits while going 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position in the last two games.

"We just haven't mustered any offense the past two days," manager Ron Washington said.

Heading into the break on a positive note might be even tougher to do for the Rangers with Scott Baker (0-2, 5.84 ERA) on the mound Sunday. Texas is 0-14 in games the right-hander has appeared in this season.

Baker allowed three runs in 4 2-3 innings of a 5-2 loss at Baltimore on July 3 to give him an 0-2 record and 5.94 ERA in three starts this season. He's 1-5 with a 4.62 ERA in 11 starts against the Angels, last facing them in that capacity in 2011.

Though Kendrick is 1 for 11 against Baker, Erick Aybar is 7 for 14 in the matchup.

Aybar, selected to replace Kansas City's Alex Gordon on the AL All-Star roster, has batted .353 in his last eight games.

Los Angeles' Tyler Skaggs (4-5, 4.15) has gone 0-4 with a 4.18 ERA in his last five starts, though he's posted a 3.14 ERA in two since missing almost a month with a hamstring injury. The left-hander allowed a career-high 11 hits but only three runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 4-0 loss to Toronto on Tuesday.

Skaggs seeks a better effort against the Rangers after he gave up six runs and eight hits in 2 2-3 innings of a 14-3 loss to them May 4.

Adrian Beltre went 0 for 3 on Saturday to end a 15-game hitting streak during which he batted .411.

Los Angeles outfielder Collin Cowgill will not play after he was struck in the face by a pitch when he squared to bunt in the eighth inning Saturday.

''It was obviously an unfortunate turn of events there,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ''He's going to obviously go for some tests.''

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