Angels-Rangers Preview - NBC Sports

Angels-Rangers Preview
April 12, 2015, 9:55 pm

The Los Angeles Angels may be ready to hit the road after a lost weekend at home.

They are headed to a place where they dominated a season ago with a starter who has an excellent road record and enjoyed success versus the opponent he is facing.

Matt Shoemaker looks to improve to 4-0 in as many starts against the Texas Rangers when he gets the ball in Monday night's opener of a three-game set.

Los Angeles (2-4) was outscored 19-8 over the weekend in a three-game sweep by AL champion Kansas City, bringing back bitter memories of its 3-0 division series loss to the Royals last year.

The losing dampened the mood of Albert Pujols, who hit his 522nd home run to move past Ted Williams, Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas for sole possession of 18th on the career list.

"Obviously, it's a great accomplishment, man, but it's really disappointing," Pujols said. "We got swept by a great ballclub."

Kansas City's playoff sweep overshadowed a season in which Los Angeles led the majors with 98 victories. The Angels went 14-5 against the Rangers last year, including 9-1 in Arlington.

Shoemaker won twice in Arlington in 2014, posting a 1.80 ERA in winning all three starts against Texas last year. The right-hander captured those outings even though Leonys Martin went 5 for 10 with two doubles off him in those games, Elvis Andrus was 3 for 9 and Adrian Beltre 3 for 8.

Those hitters all struggled in the season's first week. Beltre is 6 for 32, Martin is 4 for 32 and Andrus is 5 for 31.

They are not alone since Texas (3-4) is hitting .197, though Los Angeles is worse at .195.

Shoemaker could be poised to add to the Rangers' woes. He allowed three runs over six innings in Wednesday's 5-3 win at Seattle to improve to 17-4 in his career - including 8-1 on the road despite a 4.45 ERA.

The Angels have captured his last six road starts, with the right-hander posting a 2.83 ERA.

Los Angeles went an AL-best 28-20 against left-handed starters a year ago and looks to spoil the Texas home debut of Ross Detwiler, who was tagged for eight runs - five earned - over 4 1-3 innings in a 10-0 defeat at Oakland last Wednesday.

"If I want to help this team compete, I need to be a lot better," Detwiler said.

Detwiler, who has never started against the Angels, was a reliever last season with Washington. David Freese has the most plate appearances against him among Los Angeles hitters, going 0 for 3 with three walks.

Mike Trout had a team-high 14 RBIs in the 2014 season series and he's 7 for 18 this year, hitting safely in every game.

Fellow outfielder Kole Calhoun, who homered and drove in three runs Saturday, could return to the lineup after resting a sore calf Sunday.

The Rangers dropped two of three to Houston over the weekend, falling 6-4 in 14 innings Sunday.

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