MLB Game Preview: Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels - Date: 9/24/2018 Starters hoping to keep spots duel in Rangers-Angels series opener 13m ago 2 min read Two right-handers who hope to remain part of the starting rotation next season will go head-to-head when the Los Angeles Angels host the Texas Rangers on Monday in the opener of a three-game series at Angel Stadium.Adrian Sampson is scheduled to make his fourth career start and third with the Rangers. Felix Pena will make his 17th start for the Angels since being converted from a reliever earlier this season.Sampson (0-2, 4.09 ERA) made his starting debut with the Rangers on Sept. 11 at Angel Stadium. He held Los Angeles (75-81) to one run and two hits in five innings, but eight Angels relievers combined to shut out the Rangers 1-0 after holding them without a hit for 7 1/3 innings.Angels first baseman Jose Fernandez hit his first major league home run in the second inning to account for the only run.The Rangers (66-89) didn't provide any run support in Sampson's second start either. He allowed two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 3-0 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.In the 10 2/3 innings that Sampson has been in the game as a starter, Texas has combined for one hit.Sampson told MLB.com after his last outing that he's always been slotted as a fastball pitcher but likes the way he has been executing all of his pitches lately."It has been good for two starts," he said. "I am a workhorse and I can go deep in games. I can help the team. I can give them innings as a starting pitcher. I just want to show them that." Before Texas manager Jeff Banister was fired Friday, he said the last week of the season will be important for players like Sampson."These guys are still out here competing on a daily basis," Banister told MLB.com after Sampson's last start.Pena (3-5, 4.20) made his only appearance against the Rangers on Sept. 12 in Anaheim, throwing six shutout innings in the 8-1 victory. Pena has performed a lot more like that lately than he did in his last outing, when he gave up six runs and six hits in four innings of a 10-0 loss to the Oakland A's on Wednesday.Pena told MLB.com after the loss that he planned to quickly put that appearance behind him."Some days you're going to feel good, but you're not going to be able to control what happens," he said. "The only thing that I can control is to keep working hard like I've been doing and prepare for my next start." Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons left a 6-2 loss at the Houston Astros on Sunday with a left knee injury but told reporters after the game that he hoped to play Monday.Angels center fielder Mike Trout rested Sunday after hitting a home run in five of the previous six games. He has 38 home runs this season, three shy of his career high set in 2015.
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