The Angels will start Ervin Santana on Monday and it could be the last chance for the struggling right-hander to keep his place in the starting rotation.
Santana is 4-10 with a 6.00 earned run average this season and gave up six runs in 1 2/3 innings against the Rangers in his last start.
For the Rangers, right-hander Roy Oswalt will start Monday, but he has not pitched in 12 days after experiencing tightness in his back after his last start.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia stayed away from talking about whether Santana might be removed from the starting rotation if his performance doesn't improve Monday.
"We're not moving forward with any hypotheticals," Scioscia said Sunday. "Obviously, it's a time of year and time in our season where we need production from our starters and we're going to evaluate this thing.
"You can't skip any pages. You can't turn four pages ahead. We'll turn it one page at a time, see where we are, see where our staff is, what our best look is and make a determination."
The Rangers believe Oswalt can be a plus for their rotation, with one caveat. There is concern about the continuing health of the veteran right-hander, who will turn 35 on Aug. 29.
Oswalt threw approximately 50 pitches in a bullpen session Friday, and reported no issues with his back.
"I should be ready to go," Oswalt said.
Oswalt was scheduled to pitch Sunday against the White Sox, but the Rangers opted to flip him with Scott Feldman.
His biggest challenge will be harnessing his command after not pitching for nearly two weeks, Oswalt said.
"Hopefully the ball will sink pretty quickly," said Oswalt, who is 3-1 with a 5.22 ERA in five starts with the Rangers.
Oswalt knows the Rangers would like him to play a key role in the final two months of the season.
"My job is to eat up innings, as many as I can," he said. "That's what I try to do when I go out there."Rangers manager Ron Washington isn't sure how long Oswalt will be able to pitch. "It depends on the results Oswalt gets out there," Washington said Sunday. "If everything goes well, he could get seven or eight innings. It might be six. It might be nine. Who knows."
Angels ace Jered Weaver will face Rangers lefty Derek Holland in Game 2 of the series, with Dan Haren scheduled to start Wednesday's game against Yu Darvish, and C.J. Wilson for the Angels opposing Matt Harrison on Thursday in a matchup of left-handers."It's going to be a fun series," Rangers outfielder David Murphy said. "It's always fun when we play those guys. We are in our home park and have home-field advantage. We definitely need to use that to our advantage." The Angels lead the season series between the two teams, 5-4.
Angels: Trout expected back Monday
Angels rookie sensation Mike Trout was scratched from the lineup for Sunday's game because of a left knee contusion the 20-year-old outfielder suffered during Saturday night's 3-0 loss to the Rays.
Trout, whose .350 batting average is best in the American League, banged his knee against the wall chasing Ben Zobrist's third-inning homer, Scioscia expects him to be back in the lineup Monday.
"He hit his knee into the wall pretty good," Scioscia said. "He's a little sore today. We'll see what his availability is to do something during the game and hopefully he'll get back in there tomorrow."
Rangers: Hamilton hitless as DH
Josh Hamilton is mired in a two-month hitting slump and is batting .115 in his last 17 games.
After Washington gave Hamilton a day off and held him out of the lineup Saturday, he went 0-for-2 with two walks as the designated hitter Sunday in a 2-0 victory over the White Sox.Scioscia would like for his team to get through the series this week without Hamilton re-emerging.
"It's like if a rattlesnake is asleep, you don't take it for granted," Scioscia said. "He's a dangerous hitter and they have a deep lineup. And their lineup is more than just Josh Hamilton. You have challenges all the way up and down, and we have to pitch well to contain them like we did in the series we had [in Anaheim] earlier."
Plenty of tickets are still available for all four games of the series, as 10,000 remain for Monday, 12,000 for Tuesday, 7,000 for Wednesday and 9,500 for Thursday.