Angels look to get going at home vs. Rangers

If the Los Angeles Angels fail to build on their strong start to the season and miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year, they might look back on their poor results at home.

After blowing a ninth-inning lead on Saturday night against the visiting Texas Rangers, the Angels are 13-18 at Angel Stadium heading into their series finale on Sunday.

The Angels (31-28) are one of seven teams in the American League with a winning record, but the only one from that group under .500 at home.

The Angels, who started this season a franchise-best 13-3, will try to improve their home mark against Texas right-hander Doug Fister, who is winless in his past nine starts, but has sprinkled in enough quality outings to show he deserves better.

Fister (1-5, 4.09) shut out the Chicago White Sox for seven innings on May 17 and left with a 1-0 lead, but the bullpen gave up four runs in the eighth in the 4-2 loss.

After a rough outing against the New York Yankees six days later, Fister held the Seattle Mariners to two runs and six hits over six innings on Monday but took the loss in the 2-1 defeat.

Texas (25-36) has been held to two runs or fewer in four of Fister’s past five outings, but he said he’ll always pitch as if it’s a 0-0 game.

“I’ve got to go out there and do my job and put up a zero regardless of what the offense is doing or not doing,” he told reporters after he latest start. “For me, I always have the same mindset. We could be up 10 or down 10, I’ve got the same job to do. It doesn’t change.”

The Angels signed Fister to a minor-league deal early last season, but he never appeared with the major league club before asking for his release from Triple-A Salt Lake about a month later.

He’s 3-5 in his career against Los Angeles with a 3.03 ERA in 14 starts. He faced them on April 9 in Texas and gave up three runs and six hits in five innings. He took the loss in the 8-3 defeat.

Fister doesn’t figure to alter his approach based on that performance.

“Scouting reports don’t do a whole lot for me,” Fister said. “It’s more of what do I do, and what do I do well, which is stick with it. We’ve had a great team here and I’ve got to utilize the defense.”

The Angels are 3-6 in their last nine games after wasting a big night from Mike Trout, who hit his 19th homer and fell a double shy of the cycle.

Los Angeles left-hander Tyler Skaggs (3-4, 3.60) is winless in his past six starts. He is 0-3 with a 4.13 ERA in those starts.

He is coming off his roughest outing of that stretch, giving up five runs and six hits in five innings of a 9-3 loss at the Detroit Tigers on Monday. The big blow was a grand slam by catcher James McCann in the third inning.

“One bad pitch, that’s been the story of my season,” Skaggs told reporters afterward.

Skaggs has allowed seven of his eight homers during his winless skid, which started with a 2-1 loss to the New York Yankees on April 29.

Skaggs earned one of his wins this season against the Rangers on April 10, allowing one run and five hits in five innings of an 11-1 win in Texas.

Otherwise, he’s struggled against the Rangers, owning a 3-2 mark and 6.00 ERA in nine starts.

One player for Texas he hasn’t had difficulty getting out is second baseman Rougned Odor, who’s 0-for-11 in his career against Skaggs.