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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, September 26th (All times Eastern)

LA Angels of Anaheim (78-80) at Texas Rangers (87-71), 8:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - Jerome Williams (9-10, 4.55) Texas - Matt Garza (4-5, 4.56)

(Sports Network) - Matt Garza tries to pitch the Texas Rangers to their fourth straight win on Thursday when they open a four-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Texas enters this series one game back of the second wild card spot in the American League after sweeping the Houston Astros. The Rangers, though, failed to gain any ground on the wild card leaders - the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays - both of whom are in the midst of six-game winning streaks.

"You just get the mentality of taking care of the business that's in front of you," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "If we can continue to win ballgames, I don't care what they do. And if they win out the streak and we win out the string also, then that's just the way it is."

Now the Rangers close their regular season against the Angels, a team that it has beaten in 11 of 15 matchups this season. However, Los Angeles has played as well as anyone of late and comes into this series having gone 23-9 since Aug. 23, while winning nine of its last 10 series after taking two of three from the AL West champion Oakland Athletics.

"I expected them to play the way they are a lot earlier than this," Washington said of the Angels. "Those young kids they have been running out there have been playing good baseball, and their starting pitching has been good. They're playing Angels baseball. But I still think we can beat them."

Garza had been 0-4 with a 5.83 ERA in his previous five starts before beating Kansas City on Saturday, as he allowed a run and five hits over eight innings. He is 4-5 with a 4.56 ERA since being acquired by Chicago.

"You're the only one who can do it," Garza said of bouncing back. "I just got back to being comfortable, back to being who I was. It's a lot funnier this way. I can enjoy it a little more.

"I've just got to keep it simple. That's kind of been my whole thing and it's kind of who I am. ... It's no time to work on anything anymore."

Los Angeles, meanwhile, will hopefully counter with righty Jerome Williams, who has won his last four starts. Williams gave up a run in 5 2/3 innings in a win over Seattle on Saturday, but walked five batters.

"I always want to go out there and do my best," Williams said. "I've had a couple of rough stretches, and now I just want to finish strong and end this season on a good note."

However, Williams, who won a career-high five consecutive starts as a rookie with San Francisco from June 21-July 12, 2003, hurt his foot earlier in the week and may not be able to go on Thursday.

If Williams can't go, Angels manager Mike Scioscia could turn to matt Shoemaker, Tommy Hanson or Joe Blanton.

09/26 10:42:27 ET

  • NCAA: Gonzaga vs. UCLA

    Tonight at 7:00 on WRAL-TV

  • NCAA: Duke v. Utah

    Tonight at 9:40 on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: NC State vs. Louisville

    Tonight at 7:37 on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 5
PIT 2
Final
WISC 79
UNC 72
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
CHA
 
7:37pm Tonight
LOU
NCSU
 
9:45pm Tonight
DUKE
UTAH
 
Final
PIT 5
ATL 7
Final
DET 6
BAL 4
Final
STL 3
MIA 5
Final
BOS 5
MIN 4
Final
TAM 6
NYY 5
Final
TOR 4
PHI 1
Final
CLE 2
CIN 13
Final
SEA 0
KAN 3
Final
CWS 6
LOS 9
Final
MIL 15
SEA 1
Final
ARI 3
SDP 3
Final
WAS 3
NYM 8
Final
CHC 4
ANA 8
Final
TEX 6
COL 3
Final
SFG 4
OAK 6
1:05pm Today
ATL
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
STL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
DET
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
TEX
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
CLE
 
6:05pm Tonight
HOU
MIA
 
9:05pm Tonight
KAN
SEA
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:05pm Tonight
CIN
MIL
 
10:05pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
MIL 111
IND 107
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
LAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
BOS
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
CLE
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
LAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
GSW
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
SAC
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
DAL
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
UTA
 
10:00pm Tonight
PHO
POR
 
Final
ND 81
WICHS 70
Final
WISC 79
UNC 72
Final
LALAF 82
EVAN 89
Final
KENT 78
WVU 39
Final
ARZ 68
XAV 60
7:15pm Tonight
GONZ
UCLA
 
7:37pm Tonight
LOU
NCSU
 
9:45pm Tonight
DUKE
UTAH
 
10:00pm Tonight
NARZ
KSU
 
10:07pm Tonight
OKLA
MSU
 
Final
BOS 2
ANA 3
Final
BUF 3
ARI 4
Final
NYI 2
LOS 3
Final
WAS 3
NJD 2
Final
CAR 5
PIT 2
Final
TOR 1
FLA 4
Final
TAM 2
NAS 3
Final
OTT 1
NYR 5
Final
DET 4
SJS 6
Final
WIN 5
MON 2
Final
VAN 1
COL 4
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
CAL
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CLB
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
DAL