Tepesch, Rangers vie to salvage set against Angels

8:43 AM, Sep 8, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - Nick Tepesch returns to the Texas Rangers rotation on Sunday in the finale of a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium.

Tepesch threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief Monday in his first appearance since going on the disabled list on July 6. He only threw 28 pitches against the Oakland Athletics in that one, but said afterward he would be able to go between 60-80 if needed.

"He threw the ball well, and we just want to give him another chance," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "It's just he's going to start Sunday, and we'll leave it at that right now."

Tepesch, who has never faced the Angels, is 4-6 on the year with a 4.67 ERA.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Jason Vargas, who is 8-6 with a 3.80 ERA. Vargas, though, had a two-start winning streak stopped on Tuesday against Tampa Bay, which ripped him for five runs and 10 hits in four innings.

"Jason, like all our starters, you want to give them an opportunity to win or lose a game if they can get to a certain point, and it just got to be where in the fifth inning -- it certainly wasn't a pitch-count issue -- but it was how he was throwing the ball and it was going to be a struggle for him," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Vargas is certainly no stranger to the Rangers and is 4-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 17 games (15) starts.

Texas slipped further behind in the American League West on Saturday, as Grant Green drove in three runs, Mark Trumbo homered for the second straight day and Los Angeles posted an 8-3 win.

J.B. Shuck, Mike Trout and Chris Iannetta each added an RBI apiece to back a solid outing from Garrett Richards (6-6), who scattered two runs -- one earned -- on six hits and a walk over seven innings.

"I was able to pound the zone," said Richards. "My breaking ball came and I started getting ahead of hitters. I feel like I'm making strides, just keeping it simple."

The Rangers have dropped five of their last seven, with the recent skid placing them 1 1/2 games behind Oakland for lead in the division.

"You hate to go through this in September, but we're not going anywhere. We'll be around," said Washington.

Derek Holland (9-8) was tagged for eight runs -- four earned -- on eight hits over 5 2/3 frames.

Texas had won seven in a row from the Angels before Friday's loss and is still 10-4 this season against the Halos. Still, the Rangers haven't been swept in a three-game set by Los Angeles since turning the trick from Sept.19-21, 2008.

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