Rangers-Angels Preview

Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish is seeking to become the AL’s

first eight-game winner.

C.J. Wilson is hoping to stick around long enough this time for

a full matchup against the Japanese rookie.

These starters meet for the second time Saturday night as

Wilson’s Los Angeles Angels try to hand the visiting Rangers a

season-worst fourth straight defeat.

The first 2012 matchup between these AL West rivals May 11

pitted Darvish (7-2, 3.25 ERA) against Wilson (6-4, 2.77), making

his return to Arlington for his first start against his former


Wilson, however, was charged with a 10-3 loss after retiring one

batter and yielding four runs before a rain delay of nearly two

hours forced him out of the game. He made history the next night by

becoming the first pitcher to start in consecutive games since


Darvish took advantage of a six-run lead after one inning in

last month’s meeting, yielding three runs over 5 1-3 innings for

the victory. The right-hander, however, continues to struggle with

his control with 35 walks for the majors’ fourth-highest total –

issuing nine over nine innings in his last two outings.

Another offensive outburst by his teammates helped him win

Sunday against Toronto as he gave up three runs over five innings

in a 12-6 victory despite pitching with an upset stomach and a sore

lower back.

“I’m not looking at it as an injury,” Darvish said through an

interpreter after the game. “I feel comfortable saying that I

should be able to treat this.”

Darvish is one win behind Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels and St.

Louis’ Lance Lynn for the major-league lead, with all three

pitching Saturday.

Wilson, meanwhile, leads the AL in opponent batting average with

the majors’ third-best mark at .185. The left-hander has yielded

one run and three hits over 14 innings in two straight wins, giving

up the run in a six-inning stint Sunday in a 4-2 victory at


Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre each went 2 for 4 against him in

last month’s outings, with Hamilton homering. Beltre is 9 for 23 in

his career against Wilson.

Los Angeles (27-26) has won nine of 10 after Mike Trout led the

way in Friday’s 4-2 victory. Trout hit an RBI triple in the sixth

inning and a tiebreaking two-run single in the seventh, giving him

seven RBIs in his last four contests.

“He’s a good player – a real good player,” said Texas manager

Ron Washington about Trout. “He’s got speed, a little pop in that

bat, and he makes contact. He’s an exciting-looking little


Texas (31-21) has matched its longest slide of the year as it

seeks to avoid its worst since a five-game skid June 11-16,


Second baseman Ian Kinsler’s error in the seventh inning Friday

led to two unearned runs driven in by Trout as the Angels pulled

within 4 1/2 games of the first-place Rangers.

Hamilton had a double in four at-bats after he went 6 for 13

with three homers and six RBIs while the Rangers took two of three

from the Angels last month.