MLB Preview: Aces Duel as Los Angeles Angels visit Texas Rangers in Rubber Match


Thomas Campbell – USA TODAY Sports

In their first two match-ups of the season, the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers have split the series. In Josh Hamilton’s return to Arlington Park in Texas, the Rangers were able to spoil his homecoming, winning 3-2. Three Angels were able to take the ball deep in game two as the Rangers fell 8-4.

During Sunday evening’s rubber match game, the Angels will look to continue the offense excellence from game two and move their ball club to an even record on the season. However, the clubs will likely have trouble putting runs up on the board with the pitcher’s duel fans are in for.

Jered Weaver will look to factor into the winning decision on Sunday. In his first appearance on opening day, the right-hander went six innings, striking out four, allowing only two hits and a single run. Although the Angels won on opening day, the team was unable to get the winning runs on the board until the 13th inning, and Weaver had to settle for the no-decision.

On the other side, Yu Darvish was a single out away from a perfect game in his first appearance of the 2013 season. Marwin Gonzalez of the Houston Astros broke up the perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning. After giving up the hit, the Rangers pulled Darvish from the game. The Japanese pitcher went 8.2 innings with 14 strikeouts and a single hit, while earning his first win of the season.

Hamilton has yet to hit a long ball this season, and has been struck out 10 times. The All-Star outfielder has only been able to get a single hit in his first 20 at-bats this season, and will look to get his offense going in the rubber match game on Sunday afternoon, hoping to crush a Darvish pitch over the wall.

First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 pm ET and will be televised on ESPN2.

Justin Soderberg is a Boston Red Sox writer for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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