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Rangers Vs. Angels: C.J. Wilson Takes The Mound For Texas In Rubber Match

(Sports Network) – The Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim close out a three-game series this afternoon with a rubber match in Arlington.

After Texas picked up a win in Friday’s opener, Los Angeles bounced back on Saturday, as Maicer Izturis’ go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning lifted the Angels to a 3-2 win.

Alberto Callaspo doubled twice and drove in two runs for Los Angeles, while Scott Downs (1-0) earned the win in relief of Dan Haren, who limited the Rangers to two runs on six hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Despite recording the win, the Angels left 10 on base and went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Los Angeles is now 1 1/2 games in front of the Rangers in the American League West.

Darren Oliver (1-4) gave up the deciding run to take the loss, which dropped the Rangers to 4-8 in May.

Oliver took the mound with the game knotted, 2-2, and gave up a leadoff single to Jeff Mathis, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. A groundout to short kept Mathis at second base, but Bobby Abreu worked a walk to extend the inning.

Izturis followed by lacing a single to left, plating Mathis. Jordan Walden then worked a 1-2-3 bottom half for his seventh save.

“I got to give those guys credit for the way they battled and came back,” said Rangers manager Ron Washington. “We tied the ballgame up and we had the guy in there that we wanted in there at the time, and they got him. You know, they beat us.”

Ervin Santana is the scheduled starter for the Angels this afternoon, and he hopes to improve a disappointing 1-4 record and 4.81 ERA. He has registered 45 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings but has permitted 50 hits. On Monday, Santana surrendered five earned runs on eight hits in six innings en route to a loss to the White Sox.

Santana is 0-1 this season against Texas after getting smacked around to the tune of 10 hits and six earned runs in four innings on April 18. For his career, he is 11-8 versus Texas with a 5.69 ERA.

Heading to the hill for Texas will be C.J. Wilson, who is 4-2 with a 3.36 ERA. Wilson has permitted a mere three home runs in 56 1/3 innings, an obvious key to his success. The lefty, though, enters today’s tilt on a sour note after he yielded five earned runs on only two hits in Monday’s loss to Oakland.

Wilson has yet to face the Angels this season and is 4-3 lifetime versus the franchise with a 3.80 ERA.

The Angels took two of three at Texas in April after dropping seven of the 10 as the guest in last year’s season series.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.