Angels' Chavez will try to solve Angels (Jul 08, 2017)

BY AP • July 8, 2017

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Los Angeles Angels are hoping the Jesse Chavez who starts Saturday against Texas pitches like he hasn't recently overall and not like he has against the Rangers during his career.

Chavez (5-9, 4.97 ERA) has allowed two or fewer runs in five of his last seven starts. And while he hasn't won since June 6, his ERA in his last four starts is 4.64.

He allowed just two runs in five innings in his last outing and that has manager Mike Scioscia optimistic about what he'll see in Chavez's 19th start of the season.

"Jesse's had to work very, very hard to get to certain points of the game that he was doing easier in spring and early in the season," Scioscia said. "He's not missing by much, but he's lost a lot of counts. He's pitching behind in the count a lot. And I think it just comes down to making pitches."

To beat the Rangers, Chavez will have to overcome a rough career against Texas. He has made 18 appearances against the Rangers, with five of those starts.

He's 2-5 in his career with a 6.00 ERA. Saturday will also mark the third time he has faced Texas this season, and he struggled in the first two starts. Chavez is 0-2 with a 7.84 ERA against Texas in 2017.

"I don't think he's pitched bad in some of the games where the line score might show," Scioscia said. "He's having to work harder to get where he wants to be. Hopefully, he refreshes a little bit here with the All-Star break, he'll get back into his game and execute pitches. Hopefully tomorrow night he'll be able to do that."

The Rangers would like to see right-hander Tyson Ross (1-1, 6.41 ERA) find some consistency. He hasn't been able to put together consecutive solid outings. He struggled in his last start, allowing four runs in five innings and walking five against the Chicago White Sox.

Ross has had his best career success against the Angels, but he hasn't faced them since 2015. He is 1-1 with a 1.98 ERA in nine appearances against Los Angeles, with five of those outings starts. Before his start against Los Angeles in 2015, he hadn't faced the Angels since he was with Oakland in 2012.

While a good start from Ross would be ideal for a Texas club that's clinging to wild-card hopes with three weeks remaining before the trade deadline, a bad one won't force the Rangers to panic.

"I want to go into the break with a good start," Ross said.

Manager Jeff Banister knows what his team is capable of and believes that rotation is poised for a strong second half. Ross has only made five starts since coming off the disabled list after missing time for surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. The club has said it expected the Opening Day rotation intact for just two weeks.

"We know what it's like when we see the team that's together on the field and has all its parts together and fresh," Banister said. "We're a club that needs to have the break. I know it's going to help some others, too."

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