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Angels Hope To Slowdown Streaking Rangers, Remain In Race

Don't let the early date fool you; the next three games are important to both the Angels and the Texas Rangers.  The AL division leading Rangers visit Anaheim for the first time in 2011 to play the Angels in a 3-game, mid-week series.  With a 4-game division lead, and a season-high 11 game winning streak, Ranger success over the next three games could put a serious damper on any Angels' play-off thoughts.

The Angels will turn to rookie Tyler Chatwood to start the series off on a winning note.  Chatwood (5-5, 3.62 ERA) will make his return to the Angels rotation after spending the all-star break at Triple-A salt Lake City in order to stay on track for his first start of the second half.  Prior to the break, the right-hander received a no-decision in his last start on July 6 aganst the Detroit Tigers.  In that game, Chatwood allowed 2 runs on four hits over 6.1 innings.  Tuesday night's start will be Chatwood's first versus Texas.

Although the Halos dropped 3 of 4 to Oakland over the weekend, they had won 14 of their previous 17 games and were able to stay with the streaking Rangers.

The Rangers will counter with Alexi Orgando (9-3, 2.92 ERA).  The right-hander has one career start against the Angels, a win on May 13th where he gave up a run on 5 hits over 6.1 innings.  In his last start July 6, Orgando beat the Orioles as he went 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on four hits.

Divisions aren't won in July, but if the Angels are unable to slow down the red-hot Rangers, they can look back to this 3-game series as the point where their season was lost.

Who's Hot - Last 14 Days:
Alberto Callaspo - 10 for his last 26 (.385)
Erick Aybar - 12 for his last 34 (.353), 2 HR

Elvis Andrus - 15 for his last 37 (.405)
Mike Napoli - 10 for his last 25 (.400), 3 HR, 9 RBI
Eddy Chavez - 10 for his last 23 (.435)
Ian Kinsler - 13 for his last (.310), 3 HR
Michael Young - 13 for his last 37 (.351)

Who's Cold - Last 14 Days:
Bobby Abreu - 5 for his last 29 (.172)
Maicer Izturis - 3 for his last 25 (.120)
Howie Kendrick - 6 for his last 33 (.182)
Mike Trout - 3 for his last 24 (.125)

Nelson Cruz - 8 for his last 36 (.22), 10K
Adrian Beltre - 8 for his last 36 (.222), 3 HR