MLB Game Preview - Rangers v Angels

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1
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Texas0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 181
LA Angels0 2 4 0 0 1 0 1 x 8110
8
  W: F. Peña (3-4)   L: Y. Gallardo (8-5)
7:07 PM PT8:07 PM MT9:07 PM CT10:07 PM ET22:07 ET2:07 GMT10:07 7:07 PM MST9:07 PM EST9:37 PM VEN6:07 UAE (+1)9:07 PM CT, September 12, 2018
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California  Attendance: 33,028

Angels' Pena on hot streak heading into start vs. Rangers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels

  1. The Rangers were swept in Oakland and have now won just three of their 13 road games in August and September, the second-fewest wins away from home in the past two months. The Rangers pitching staff has posted a 6.58 ERA in these 13 games.
  2. Adrian Beltre has clubbed five home runs in September, tied for the most in baseball this month. Beltre has 105 hits on the season, his 20th consecutive season with triple-digit hits. Only Pete Rose (23 seasons) has a longer streak in baseball history.
  3. The Angels swept the White Sox in Chicago to close out their road trip with a 7-3 record, allowing opponents to score just 2.6 runs per game. Los Angeles had gone 2-8 in their previous 10 games (home and road) with opponents averaging 5.7 runs per game.
  4. Mike Trout reached base 11 times (eight hits, two walks, one HBP) in three games against the White Sox, launching two home runs in a five-hit performance on Saturday. Trout's first home run came in the 1st inning, the 67th first-frame long ball of his career, most by any player before turning 28 in MLB history.
  5. Jaime Barria is 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA in four career starts against Texas. In each start, Barria pitched at least five innings and allowed no more than one earned run.
  6. The Angels lead the season series, 8-5, after winning two of three in Texas last week. The Halos held the Rangers to four runs over three games at Angels Stadium earlier this season, the only matchups between these teams in Los Angeles this season.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/10/2018 thru 9/12/2018

The pitching staff that started the season may be in tatters, but the Los Angeles Angels have discovered some arms in the meantime.

Felix Pena was moved into the starting rotation early in the season and struggled at first, but the right-hander has continued to improve heading into his 15th start Wednesday night in the series finale against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium.

Pena has a 2.81 ERA over his past five starts. With every appearance, he has bettered his chances of remaining part of the rotation in the future.

"I'm not going to say easy, but every time I go out there I feel better," Pena told MLB.com. "I feel physically and mentally strong. It takes work, and I'm going to continue to work hard to be able to sustain this."

The Angels (72-73) have been decimated by injuries to their pitching staff this season and used their 16th starting pitcher Tuesday night, veteran reliever Jim Johnson.

He combined with seven other relievers to hold Texas (62-83) without a hit for 7 1/3 innings before they finished off the 1-0 victory.

Los Angeles has won five of its past six, including two 1-0 wins in the past three games.

The Angels maintained the lead Tuesday night with some sterling late-inning defense from shortstop Andrelton Simmons and third baseman Kaleb Coward. The Angels haven't committed an error in nine straight games.

Pena (2-4, 4.04 ERA) didn't venture past the sixth inning in his first 12 starts but has pitched seven strong innings in his past two outings.

He allowed two runs (one earned) and five hits in a 7-3 loss to the Houston Astros on Sept. 1, and two runs and seven hits in a 5-2 win at the Chicago White Sox on Friday.

Pena, who the Angels acquired from the Chicago Cubs in October, is still seeking his first win in his eighth start at Angel Stadium, however.

The Rangers are set to counter with veteran right-hander Yovani Gallardo, who will also make his 15th start since he was recalled on June 17 to replace Doug Fister in the rotation.

Gallardo (8-4, 6.22 ERA) had a 30.86 ERA after three relief appearances with the Cincinnati Reds before they designated him for assignment. Pena elected for free agency and he's 8-4 with a 5.45 ERA with Texas.

He's seeking his first winning season since 2015.

The Angels are one of four major league teams Gallardo has never defeated in his career. He's 0-1 in five appearances (four starts) with a 5.14 in his career against Los Angeles.

He pitched well enough to beat the visiting Angels on Aug. 19 in Texas but didn't receive a decision after allowing two runs and six hits over six innings, striking out six. He left with the Rangers trailing 2-1 before they came back to win 4-2.

Like Pena, Gallardo is auditioning for a spot next season, Rangers manager Jeff Banister told MLB.com.

"We are taking a look at everybody on our team," Banister said. "We have had guys who have been here for a while and guys who were called up in September. We are trying to do the best we can to look at these guys in all situations."

Updated September 12, 2018

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