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MIN@TEX: Garza whiffs nine over seven dominant frames

Matt Garza will seek to get the Rangers back on track Friday after an off-day as Texas continues its postseason push against the Angels at Angel Stadium.

Texas dropped two of three to the A's in its last series and has a half-game lead on Oakland in the American League West. The Rangers went 20-7 in August, but are 2-4 in their last six games.

Garza helped produce one of those two wins Saturday, allowing just a run in seven innings against the Twins. It was his first quality start since July 29, and third with Texas.

"I got back into a nice tempo and a nice rhythm," Garza said. "I wasn't pitching bad, but I got back in rhythm and want to keep doing it every time out."

He is 3-2 with a 4.04 ERA in eight starts with the Rangers, and 10-12 with a 4.36 ERA in 32 career games (31 starts) in September. The right-hander hasn't been in a playoff push since his final season with the Rays in 2010.

"I just keep looking forward to pitching every five days and leaving it all out there," Garza said. "My job is to keep us in there, and I try to do it every time out. When you wake up and do what I do, you're always energized. It's a lot of fun coming to the yard, and there is a lot more intensity and energy circulating out there right now, so it's going to be a lot more fun."

The Angels will counter with former Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson, who is 0-2 with a 8.63 ERA in six career starts against his former team. He's faced the Rangers once this season, allowing six runs on 11 hits in four innings on July 30.

It goes against the success he's had facing the American League West this season. He's 8-2 with a 2.86 ERA and a .225 opposing batting average in 12 division starts. Wilson has a 2.64 ERA in his last 11 starts overall, a strong personal finish he hopes will also become indicative of the team.

"With some of the guys we have here, obviously the majority of them are returning, so if we can just kind of go into the last month with some momentum like this, it'll be a good way to head into the offseason," Wilson said after his last start. "Obviously, we started off poorly and haven't really played to our potential all year, but this has been a good showing the last couple of weeks."

Angels: Halos remain focused during stretch run
The Angels might be well out of the AL West race, but they're still focused on finishing strong.

"I think you need to always have that mindset of going out there to win a game," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think that's that training that eventually gets you to championships."

Scioscia also said his club isn't interested in playing spoiler. The Angels have six games remaining against both the Rangers and A's.

"I don't know anything about a spoiler role," Scioscia said. "We are trying to win games every night no matter who we are playing. That's the challenge in front of us."

• With 95 runs scored, outfielder Mike Trout is five shy of becoming the third Angel to score 100 runs in consecutive seasons (Don Baylor, 1978-79; Troy Glaus, 2000-01). Trout would also become the seventh player in Major League history to score 100 runs in his age-20 and 21 seasons.

Rangers: Ogando returns from DL
• Alexi Ogando made his first outing Wednesday against the A's since he was activated off the disabled list. He pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout in the seventh. Ogando has been on the DL three times this season with two different cases of shoulder inflammation and biceps tendinitis in his throwing arm.

• Shortstop Elvis Andrus, sidelined with tightness in his lower back, is expected to return to the lineup on Friday.

Worth noting
• The Rangers snapped a streak of 31 consecutive games allowing five or fewer runs Wednesday. It was longest streak in the AL in the designated hitter era.

• Texas lefty Martin Perez was named American League Rookie of the Month for August.

• The Angels have dropped seven straight to Texas, equaling their longest losing streak to the Rangers in club history. Comments