Angels-Rangers Preview

The Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish has mainly struggled in his three

starts since the All-Star break but he had an effective performance

against the Los Angeles Angels.

The right-hander will try to produce another such outing

Wednesday night while denying the Angels their first three-game win

streak in a little more than a month.

Darvish (11-7, 4.05 ERA) was among the final players to make the

AL roster for the All-Star game but hasn’t pitched like one in two

of his last three starts. He gave up a career-high seven runs at

Seattle during his first start back from the break on July 14 and

six over 6 1-3 innings to the Chicago White Sox on Friday, the most

he’s allowed at home this season.

Darvish is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA over his last two starts in

Arlington after winning each of his first seven.

“Overall it was not a good game,” he said through a

translator.

Darvish had a better effort against the Angels (57-47) on July

21, giving up two runs and three hits over seven innings in a 9-2

road victory. He’s 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in three starts against Los

Angeles and gave up three runs and three hits over 5 1-3 innings in

his only matchup in Texas, a 10-3 victory May 11.

Darvish has stymied Albert Pujols in those outings, giving up

one single in eight at-bats, but the Angels slugger will enter this

game after hitting a pair of homers in a 6-2 victory Tuesday. Mike

Trout, who homered for the second straight game, is 4 for 9 with

one longball against Darvish and is hitting .442 against the

Rangers (59-43) this season

Trout set an AL rookie record for home runs in July with 10 and

tied a major league rookie mark with 32 runs scored in the

month.

“I just went out there and played my game,” he said. “It’s being

more comfortable out there.”

With Trout’s help, Los Angeles will try to continue cutting into

Texas’ lead in the AL West by earning a third straight win for the

first time since a four-game run June 24-28. The Rangers, 4-7

against the Angels this season, will attempt to avoid their first

three-game skid since a season-high five consecutive defeats July

1-6.

Texas will make that attempt against Garrett Richards (3-2,

3.91) instead of Dan Haren, who is still dealing with stiffness in

his right side.

Richards heads into this start after failing to follow up on a

superb outing in Detroit on July 17. The right-hander tossed seven

scoreless innings in that game but gave up four runs over five

frames during a 4-1 loss to Kansas City last Tuesday.

“I’m going to go out and I’m going to pitch my game,” he told

the team’s website. “I’m going to attack guys. I’m going to pitch

in and get ahead early.”

Richards has no record and a 1.59 ERA in two career starts

against the Rangers but threw only 19 pitches during the first of

those on Aug. 15, 2011, before leaving with a strained groin.