Millwood to serve as stopper in finale

Millwood to serve as stopper in finale

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are sending their ace, Kevin Millwood, to the mound in an attempt to avoid a fifth consecutive loss to end their first homestand of 2008.

Catching him will be switch-hitter Adam Melhuse, because manager Ron Washington is giving Gerald Laird time off in a day game following a night game.

There could be other changes in the lineup. When asked if he had noticed any diminished effort during the four-game losing streak, Washington said he wouldn't tell the media, but he would get the message across to his players.

Neither the manager nor the players are in a panic mode.

"Four games?" center fielder Josh Hamilton scoffed. "It's baseball. We could turn around and win 10 in a row. You've got to keep your head up and put runs on the board."

Laird expressed some frustration.

"It's been a rough week," he said. "You've just got to come out and continue to play. [The Angels are] a good team, but I think we're right there with the teams we've played.

"Guys are just trying to do too much. They want so much to drive in those runs. Once we can put a full game together, it's going to happen."

Pitching matchup
TEX: RHP Kevin Millwood (1-2, 1.29 ERA)
Millwood started against the Angels on April 5 in Anaheim. He pitched a complete game against them, but still ended up the losing pitcher in a 2-1 game. He allowed two runs on 12 hits and a walk while striking out five in eight innings. He is 2-3 with a 3.38 ERA in eight career starts against the Angels. Millwood won his most recent start, allowing three hits and one run in seven innings of a 3-1 home victory over Baltimore on Thursday.

LAA: RHP Dustin Moseley (1-1, 7.36 ERA)
Moseley, an emergency starter, rebounded from a drubbing in his season debut with a solid winning effort against the Indians. Using his two-seam fastball to good effect and keeping hitters off balance, Moseley blanked the Tribe for five innings before yielding four runs, two on gopher balls, in his sixth and final inning. Moseley wants to push past the sixth inning this time and show he can get deeper in games and save wear on the bullpen. He has not yielded a run in 7 1/3 career innings in Texas, and has a 2.53 career ERA without a decision in six appearances against the Rangers.

Tidbits
Designated hitter Milton Bradley, who went 3-for-4 Monday to raise his average to .333, has a nine-game hitting streak. In the American League, only Kansas City's Billy Butler (13 games) has a longer streak. ... Ben Broussard and Laird each have two homers and six RBIs in the four games against the Angels this season. ... Texas' bullpen is the only one in the Majors that hasn't allowed a home run. ... The entire Rangers roster will wear jerseys bearing No. 42 in honor of Tuesday's Jackie Robinson Day celebration.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN SW

On radio
• KRLD 1080, KFLC 1270 (Español)

Up next
• Wednesday: Rangers (Kason Gabbard, 1-0, 2.13) at Blue Jays (Jesse Litsch, 2-0, 3.38), 6:07 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Rangers (Vicente Padilla, 1-1, 3.79) at Blue Jays (Roy Halladay, 2-1, 3.00), 6:07 p.m. CT
• Friday: Rangers (Luis Mendoza, 0-1, 1.80) at Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 3-0, 2.70), 6:05 p.m. CT

Lary Bump is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.