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Rangers' wish: Rain, rain come this way

April 20, 2011 |  1:46 pm

Rain "Now there's three things you can do in a baseball game," the legendary Casey Stengel once said. "You can win or you can lose or it can rain."

The Texas Rangers are probably thinking that the rain thing might be the best option for Wednesday's series finale with the Angels. That's because they were routed 15-4 Tuesday behind a blistering offensive display from the Angels. And if they play the final game of the series as scheduled, the defending American League champions will have the face one of the hottest pitchers in baseball in Jered Weaver with first place in the A.L. West at stake.

The bottom four hitters in the Angels' lineup Tuesday -- Alberto Callaspo, Mark Trumbo, Hank Conger and Peter Bourjos -- combined for 11 runs and 11 hits. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last team to get more than 10 hits and 10 runs from the 6 through 9 spots in its lineup was the Rangers in a 30-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles in August 2007.

And now comes Weaver, the big-league strikeout leader in 2010 who is 4-0, having gone at least six innings and given up no more than four hits in each of his four starts this spring. From 1919 to 2010, just eight pitchers began a season that way. (The Marlins' Josh Johnson has matched Weaver in doing it this year.)

Others on the list include former Angel Nolan Ryan, now the Rangers' president, and Cy Young award-winners Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Cliff Lee.

By the way, when the Rangers came out for batting practice Wednesday the skies were slate gray and the forecast called for isolated thunderstorms in the Arlington area beginning at game time. In the first five games of their road trip, the Angels have endured four rain delays.

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-- Kevin Baxter in Arlington, Texas

Photo credit: Sukree Sukplang / Reuters

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