Rangers-Angels Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 21, 2013
Derek Holland's solid start hasn't necessarily surprised Ron Washington, but the Texas Rangers' manager is excited to see consistent improvement in his left-hander. Los Angeles Angels skipper Mike Scioscia likely wishes he could say the same about Joe Blanton. Hot-hitting Texas seeks a fourth consecutive victory while ending the host Angels' three-game winning streak in the opener of a three-game series Monday night. After going 16-5 with a 3.95 ERA in 2011, Holland's numbers slipped last season as he finished 12-7 with a 4.67 ERA. Washington, though, maintained his confidence in Holland heading into this season, and he hasn't disappointed so far while going 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA. He gave up only two hits while striking out six in seven scoreless innings of a 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. He's gone at least seven innings in each of his three starts, including allowing two runs in seven frames of Texas' 3-2 win over the Angels on April 5. "Derek is certainly proving not only to us but to himself that he can be consistent," Washington told the team's official website. "It's nice to see him out there using all his pitches and throwing them for strikes. His breaking ball has much more depth. "He's much better to me. He's a more polished pitcher. His stuff is consistent and has been consistent since Day 1 of spring training." Despite his solid performance the last time he faced Los Angeles, the left-hander is 2-2 with a 6.09 ERA over his last five starts versus the Angels. He could be the benefactor, though, of the recently hot Texas offense, which came alive in a big way in Sunday's 11-3 win over Seattle to complete a three-game sweep. The Rangers (12-6) led the majors in runs scored last season, but the offense sputtered at times before outscoring the Mariners 23-3. Nelson Cruz hit a grand slam while Mitch Moreland, Adrian Beltre and Leonys Martin also homered. "We definitely took a step forward with the runs we put up over the three games,'' Moreland said. "If we can keep doing that, and keep taking care of business, and our pitching keeps throwing like they are, I think we'll be all right.'' Texas looks to keep rolling as it faces the struggling Blanton, who hasn't gotten off to a very good start in his first season with the Angels. Blanton has dropped each of his first three outings while posting a dismal 8.59 ERA. He's given up 15 runs in 14 2-3 innings, including four in 4 2-3 of an 8-2 loss to Minnesota last Monday. "He hasn't been able to command counts the way he can, he hasn't been in good zones as often as he needs to be," Scioscia told the team's official website. "It's in him to be a better pitcher. He'll get there." The right-hander is 6-2 with a 5.01 ERA in his last nine starts versus the Rangers, though he hasn't faced them since 2008. Los Angeles (7-10) is coming off a three-game sweep of defending AL champion Detroit, as Mark Trumbo homered leading off the bottom of the 13th on Sunday. "It was pretty well chronicled that we struggled early on. But three wins against a team of this caliber is an excellent sign,'' Trumbo said. Former Ranger Josh Hamilton, hitting .176, went 0 for 5 on Sunday and has just one hit in his last 21 at-bats. He went 3 for 13 against his former team as Texas took two of three from April 5-7.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Is Madison Bumgarner a bully?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: JJ Watt re-injures back, facing extended absence

Nationals GM: Strasburg ‘unlikely to pitch in NLDS’

Nebraska regent wants players kicked off team for kneeling during anthem

WATCH: Wayne Gretzky tells the hilarious story of his secret Hall of Fame visit

Wilson Ramos done for year with torn ACL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Sam Allardyce, English FA announce contract termination just 67 days into the job

Report: Clint Dempsey to miss rest of 2016 MLS season

Report: Rose not revealing true concern over rape investigation

UFC 205 headlined by Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez

Greg Hardy told police someone slipped cocaine in his wallet

Report: LSU will ‘gauge the interest’ of Saban, Meyer, others

The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns

FIFA 17 review: O jogo bonito

To save his legacy Chris Bosh must first protect his health

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Green Beret shares how he helped alter Kaepernick protest

Gordon: Hitting HR for Fernandez ‘best moment of my life’

Box Score: 9/27 - Goodbyes, farewells and hurdles

Kevin Garnett's unique career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

15 greatest calls of Vin Scully's career

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns

FIFA 17 review: O jogo bonito

To save his legacy Chris Bosh must first protect his health

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Kevin Garnett's unique NBA career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

Week 4 in college football as explained by Queen

The good, bad, and ugly from Week 3 in the NFL season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker