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07/24/10 12:01 AM ET

Rangers look to keep pressure on Angels

The Angels know they can't afford to fall much further behind the Rangers in the American League West.

After the Rangers took the first two games of the series, both teams will continue to try to capitalize on the head-to-head matchup Saturday. The Angels need a win badly, and they will send one of their best hurlers in Ervin Santana to the hill.

Santana certainly hasn't gotten the results in the form of victories lately, going 0-2 in his last three outings, but he has a 2.31 ERA over that span.

After his most recent frustrating start against the Mariners, Santana's teammate, Torii Hunter, voiced his frustration that the Halos haven't given him more support.

"I hate that we don't come through for that guy," said Hunter. "He's been pitching his butt off, and we just can't come through."

The Halos couldn't pick a better time to swing the bats for Santana with the way the Rangers have handled them in the first two games of the series.

On the hill for the Rangers as they go for a decisive series win is Scott Feldman. Feldman will be working to stick around longer than in his previous start, when he lasted just five innings against the Tigers. He wasn't pleased with his most recent results, to say the least.

"I hate going out there and only throwing 80 pitches and only going five innings," Feldman said. "But I wasn't getting the job done. Luckily, we had guys in the bullpen who did an unbelievable job."

That sort of team effort has put the Rangers on top early in the series, but they aren't done. Despite their seven-game lead in the AL West, the Rangers know they still need to keep the pressure on.

"It's going to be huge for us [to win the series]," Elvis Andrus said. "We know this series and the next one coming up against Oakland -- they're series we're waiting for. We want to sweep, we want to win. That's good for the team. Everybody's excited about how great we've been right now. We just need to go out there and play baseball. Let the game come to us."

Angels: Callaspo excited to be with Angels
Despite a quiet debut on Friday night, the Halos are happy to have the newly acquired Alberto Callaspo in the fold. Callaspo batted seventh and started at third base for the Angels on Friday night and went 1-for-3 with a single. The Halos, who are Callaspo's original team, are excited to have him again. Angels manager Mike Scioscia described him as "a guy who squares up a baseball."

"I was excited," said Callaspo of when he learned he was returning to the Angels. "This was my team when I signed. I grew up with this team."

Rangers: Washington keeping Murphy fresh
Manager Ron Washington opted to start David Murphy on Friday and give Julio Borbon the night off. It was just one game, but having Murphy in the lineup occasionally is something Washington expects to continue going forward.

"Just keeping Murphy engaged. You'll see Murphy play a lot more, that's all there is to it," Washington said. "We have to keep Murphy engaged. We have to win with everybody. We're at the point in the year where everybody's got to get a chance to play."

Worth noting
The Rangers have won five of six games. ... Six of the seven meetings between the Rangers and Angels this season have been one-run affairs, including Friday night's 1-0 Rangers win.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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