Josh Hamilton will host his former club for the first time this season as the Texas Rangers travel to Los Angeles to take on the Angels in a three-game series.
Texas, (12-6, 1st in AL West) is coming off a three-game sweep of the Mariners. The Rangers pitched well, and the bats started coming to life as they outscored the Mariners 23-3.
Texas shined Sunday as Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre homered late to power the Rangers to an 11-3 win.
Starter Justin Grimm, (1-0, 2.70 ERA) pitched like a veteran. He struck out nine while only walking one over six innings.
The Angels are also coming off a three-game sweep.
LA, (7-10, 3rd in AL West) outscored the Detroit Tigers 22-4 over their weekend series. The Angels are benefitting from strong pitching even after ace Jered Weaver went on the disabled list with a broken elbow (non-throwing arm).
Fortunately for Texas, the Angels are a little banged up, and their power bats aren’t hitting well yet.
Albert Pujols has been hampered by foot issues, and Hamilton is hampered by just not being that good at baseball yet this season. Outfielder Mike Trout hit his first career grand slam over the weekend, and Mark Trumbo saved them with a walkoff home run Sunday. Other than that, the Angels aren’t putting a lot of runs on the board.
Texas’ offense finally woke up. The Rangers put together their first two five-run innings this weekend while crushing seven souvenirs into the stands. Jeff Baker, AJ Pierzynski, David Murphy, Leonys Martin, Mitch Moreland, Cruz and Beltre all homered for the Rangers in that span.
That is a pretty good stat in itself. That means that the offense is starting to click all at the same time, which means if the pitching stays hot, the Rangers could end April on a serious win streak.
First thing is first, beat LA.
This week’s matchup:
Monday, April 22 Holland (1-1) vs. Joe Blanton (0-3)
Tuesday, April 23 Ogando (2-1) vs. Justin Vargas (0-2)
Wednesday, April 24 Darvish (3-1) vs. Jerome Williams (1-0)