The Texas Rangers are alone atop the AL West.
A three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels may keep them there.
The Rangers will try to begin padding their slim division lead by going for a record winning streak against the Angels on Friday night.
Texas (80-59) leads the West by one-half game on second-place Oakland, despite losing two of three to the A's following Wednesday's 11-4 road defeat.
The tight race is reminiscent of last year, which ended with the Rangers getting swept in a three-game series that relegated them to the wild card.
"There are no breaks," second baseman Ian Kinsler told the team's official website. "You have to be ready to win every day. It doesn't matter how you go about it. You have to pitch well, score runs and play defense."
The Rangers don't seem to have much trouble with any of that against the Angels, winning 10 of 12 season. That includes a seven-game winning streak, matching their longest in the all-time series set against the California Angels from 1987-88.
Texas is hitting .323 with 10 homers while averaging 7.7 runs during the current streak.
Adrian Beltre has been a big contributor with a .408 average, four homers and 10 RBIs this year and is 13 for 25 with three homers and nine RBIs in the past six meetings.
Beltre may be in for another big performance since he's 11 for 30 (.367) with four doubles and one homer versus Angels starter and former teammate C.J. Wilson.
The Rangers will turn to Matt Garza (3-2, 4.04 ERA), who is looking to build on his latest performance. The right-hander allowed one run and three hits with nine strikeouts in seven innings while not getting a decision in a 2-1 win over Minnesota.
He had a 5.81 ERA over his previous four starts.
"I got back into a nice tempo and a nice rhythm," Garza told the team's official website. "I wasn't pitching bad, but I got back in rhythm and want to keep doing it every time out."
Facing the Angels may not help since he's 0-1 with a 5.45 ERA in six career starts.
Los Angeles salvaged a split of its four-game series against Tampa Bay with a 6-2 win Thursday but has lost 11 of 14 at home.
Turning to Wilson (14-6, 3.35) would seem to help since he's 6-0 with a 3.09 ERA over his last 10 starts. However, that includes his latest rough performance against Texas, giving up six runs and 11 hits in four innings of a 14-11 road loss July 30.
The left-hander, a member of the Rangers from 2005-11, is 0-2 with an 8.63 ERA in six starts against his former club.
Wilson enters this matching coming off a 5-3 win at Milwaukee, but he wasn't very sharp while allowing three runs in six innings.
"He made key pitches when he had to," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win."
Josh Hamilton , a Ranger from 2008-12, is batting .339 over his last 16 games after getting two hits, two runs and one RBI on Thursday. He was 0 for 16 last month when the Angels were swept in a three-game home set by the Rangers.
|August 25, 2013||Leonys Martin||Day-to-Day||Sprained right ankle|
|August 20, 2013||Matt West||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|August 14, 2013||Alexi Ogando||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|August 14, 2013||Alexi Ogando||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|August 03, 2013||Nelson Cruz||Day-to-Day||Lower body|
|July 12, 2013||Justin Grimm||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right forearm|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|August 29, 2013||Chris Nelson||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|August 28, 2013||Chris Nelson||Day-to-Day||Strained right hamstring|
|August 22, 2013||Kevin Jepsen||15-Day DL||Appendectomy|
|August 19, 2013||Mike Trout||Day-to-Day||Tight right hamstring|
|August 13, 2013||Erick Aybar||Day-to-Day||Left calf cramp|
|August 06, 2013||Howie Kendrick||15-Day DL||Sprained left knee|
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- C.J. Wilson has been the Los Angeles Angels ' best starter this season and a model of durability in his two years since leaving the Texas Rangers .
He still hadn't beaten his former club until he got a little help from his surging teammates Friday night.
Mark Trumbo hit a three-run homer and Wilson pitched into the seventh inning of the Angels' 6-5 victory, knocking the Rangers out of first place in the AL West.
Wilson (15-6) allowed seven hits and four runs, persevering through a few jams while improving to 7-0 in his last 11 starts. He wasn't always sharp - walking three and giving up homers to two hitters not known for power - but was still good enough to get a win over Texas for the first time.
"It's not one of my best games, but I got favorable run support today," Wilson said, who has won seven straight decisions to match the longest winning streak of his career.
The left-hander was 0-2 with an 8.63 ERA in his first six starts against Texas since signing a five-year, $77.5 million deal with his hometown Angels in December 2011.
Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun had RBI singles during a five-run fourth inning for the Angels, who have won 11 of 14 late in their lost season. Trumbo capped the rally with his 30th homer, a no-doubt shot onto the fake rock pile in left-center.
"Any time a team has beaten you up a little bit, that feeling can linger," Trumbo said of the Rangers. "It feels good to get one back."
Trout had three hits as Los Angeles rallied from an early three-run deficit to snap Texas' seven-game winning streak in the division rivalry, beating the Rangers for just the third time in 13 meetings this season.
Alex Rios and Elvis Andrus homered for the Rangers, who began the day with a half-game lead over Oakland atop the AL West. Texas' loss and the Athletics' 7-5 win over Houston pushed Oakland back in front of the division race.
Andrus added a ninth-inning RBI single in his return from a four-game absence with tightness in his back.
Ernesto Frieri allowed Leonys Martin 's two-out double in the ninth before Andrus' single to left, the first run allowed by the Angels' Colombian closer in 11 games since Aug. 10. Frieri then struck out Ian Kinsler on a 95-mph fastball for his 31st save.
Matt Garza (3-3) gave up nine hits and five runs over seven innings in his third straight winless start, largely staying in control outside the Angels' big fourth inning. The Angels' first seven batters reached base in the fourth, with Trout and Calhoun driving in runs before Trumbo's shot.
"It's really frustrating," Garza said. "You try to keep those innings small and get the ground balls to get out of it. I got the ground ball a little too late. They put together a couple of hits, then I left a slider over the middle, and Trumbo did what he does to sliders over the middle. You just try to keep going and keep pitching."
Rios hit his 15th homer of the season in the second inning, and he added an RBI single in the third. Rios has been a solid replacement in right field for Nelson Cruz , who began serving his 50-game suspension during the Rangers' last trip to Angel Stadium last month, apologizing to his teammates in the Anaheim clubhouse.
A.J. Pierzynski also drove in a run while four straight Rangers reached base in the third, but Wilson got out of the jam with an inning-ending double play.
Trumbo is the first Angels hitter with consecutive 30-homer seasons since Vladimir Guerrero did it three times from 2004-06, and he's just the sixth hitter in the club's 53-year history to accomplish the feat. He has been bumped down in the Angels' lineup during a late-season slump, including a 7-for-46 skid in the previous 13 games.
Los Angeles added another run in the fifth when Erick Aybar doubled and scored on a bad throw by Kinsler, who couldn't throw out the speedy Trout on an innocuous grounder to second.
Wilson escaped a jam in the sixth when Jeff Baker grounded into his second double play of the night with two runners on and nobody out. But Andrus put his first homer since Aug. 10 into the short left-field stands in the seventh, chasing Wilson after 116 pitches.
Josh Hamilton went 1 for 4 and scored a run in the Angel slugger's latest meeting with his former team.
NOTES: The Halos won at the Big A for just the fourth time in 15 games. ... Texas had matched its longest winning streak in the rivalry, also winning seven straight over the Angels in 1987-88. ... The Angels' other five batters with consecutive 30-homer seasons: Guerrero, Troy Glaus (2000-02), Mo Vaughn (1999-2000), Tim Salmon (1995-97) and Don Baylor (1978-79). ... Texas 1B Mitch Moreland grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning on his 28th birthday.