(SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers will try again for a series win over the LA Angels of Anaheim when the two AL West clubs close out a three-game series Sunday at Angel Stadium.
The Rangers took Friday's series opener 5-2, but suffered a 5-3 loss the following night. Making his MLB debut, C.J. Cron had an RBI single in the sixth inning to give the Angels the lead for good and Howie Kendrick's run- scoring double in the eighth was an insurance run.
Shawn Tolleson was saddled with the loss for giving up the go-ahead run to Cron and starter Matt Harrison did not factor in the outcome after he was reached for three runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 frames.
"I'd have it on the outside one inning, then the inside the next inning, just could never get both sides of the plate working at the same time," said Harrison. "I was in a lot of jams every inning."
Robinson Chirinos and Shin-Soo Choo finished with two hits and an RBI apiece for the Rangers, who fell for sixth time in eight tries. Choo bounced back from an ankle issue sustained in Friday's win.
Rangers prized offseason acquisition Prince Fielder was 1-for-4 with a run scored and is batting just .209 with two homers and nine RBI. He has a hit in four straight games, but hasn't homered since April 19.
"We're going to see him a lot this year. We've seen him when he's good," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "And he will be good. There's some things that you see in hitters from time to time, but I don't think it's anything specific that I'm going to share with you."
Texas will then travel to the Mile High City for a two-game set with the Colorado Rockies.
The Rangers lost for the first time this season with Yu Darvish on the hill in Monday's 4-0 setback to Oakland and hope the Japanese right-hander can bounce back Sunday afternoon.
Darvish won his season debut on April 6 at Tampa Bay, then posted three straight no-decisions. He then received a loss to the Athletics, who reached Darvish for a season-high four runs and six hits in a season-low 3 1/3 innings. He is 1-1 in five starts to go with a 2.59 ERA.
Darvish has a 1-0 ledger in two road starts this season and has made 10 career starts against the rival Angels, going 6-1 with a 3.77 ERA, 79 K's and 29 walks across 62 innings pitched.
The Angels posted their ninth win in 15 tries and improved to 4-1 on a nine- game homestand with Saturday's win.
Angels starter Garrett Richards improved to 3-0 by holding Texas to three runs in six innings with nine K's and two walks. Joe Smith was the third reliever to toss a scoreless inning and posted his third save in the ninth.
Kendrick had four hits and an RBI, Collin Cowgill went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Cron ended with three hits as well to go with two RBI.
"It's awesome. My dad was drafted and played with the Angels, so I'm just kind of following in his footsteps," said Cron, who had his contract selected from Triple-A Salt Lake prior to the game. "I had a bunch of family out here tonight and it's just an awesome feeling."
Mike Trout was 0-for-3 with two walks and two strikeouts, and has just two hits over his previous four games.
Earlier on Saturday, the Angels placed David Freese on the 15-day disabled list with a non-displaced fracture in his right middle finger. He was struck on the hand in Friday's loss. The absence of Freese and a tight hamstring for Albert Pujols opened the door for Cron.
Anaheim will also welcome the New York Yankees to town for three games on this homestand.
The Angels have won each of Tyler Skaggs' five starts this season and will send him to the mound Sunday. Skaggs is 2-0 with a 3.34 earned run average in those five starts and did not record a decision in Monday's 6-3 victory against Cleveland, as he gave up three runs in seven innings.
Skaggs, a left-hander, will make his fourth start at home and defeated the Rangers the only time he faced them as a member of Arizona last May 27 in a 5-3 win. Skaggs struck out nine over six shutout innings, scattering three hits and walking three.
This is the first series of the season between these longtime division rivals. Texas dominated last season's head-to-head series with the Halos, winning 15 of 19 meetings.