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Rangers Begin AL West Showdown Against Angels

Alexi Ogando starts for the Rangers on Monday night as the Rangers begin a pivotal four game series against the Angels in Anaheim.

Fresh off of a three game sweep over the Oakland A's, the Texas Rangers head to Anaheim to take on the Los Angeles Angels to begin a pivotal four game set. Texas was able to improve their AL West lead to four games over this weekend, thanks to the Angels dropping two of three to the Toronto Blue Jays - with the losses coming with aces Jered Weaver and Dan Haren on the mound.

Alexi Ogando starts for Texas on Monday night. Ogando is coming off one of his worst starts of the season, when he gave up six runs on eight hits and two walks in just two and two thirds innings. In Ogando's defense, he had flown to the Dominican Republic for the birth of his child prior to the start, interrupting his routine between starts. 

Despite the awful effort in his last start, Ogando's numbers are still excellent as a whole for the season. His ERA sits at 3.22 with a 1.10 WHIP and .227 batting average against. 

The Angels will send rookie Garrett Richards to the mound on Monday night. Richards was welcomed rudely to the majors last week by the Yankees, who pasted him for six runs in five innings. Prior to the call up, Richards had pitched in AA, going 12-2 with the Arkansas Travelers, with a 3.06 ERA and .232 BAA while striking out 100 in 141 innings of work. 

First pitch is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. CDT, 7:05 p.m. locally from Angel Stadium.

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