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Rangers, Angels to miss star power in series opener

By
Steve Habel, The Sports Xchange
Adrian Beltre will be out when the Texas Rangers take on the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. Photo by Lori Shepler/UPI.
Adrian Beltre will be out when the Texas Rangers take on the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. Photo by Lori Shepler/UPI. | License Photo

Both the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels will be without one of their star players when the two American League West rivals open a four-game series on Thursday at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

Texas will send right-hander Ariel Jurado (2-2, 5.66 ERA) to the mound for the series opener. The Angels plan to rely entirely on their bullpen for Thursday's game, though they have not announced who will start the game.

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The Rangers, who have lost three of their past four games and are in last place in the AL West, are going to give third baseman Adrian Beltre a couple days to see how he responds to treatment before deciding whether he should go on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.

Beltre, re-aggravated the injury -- which has sent him to the DL twice already this year -- late in Texas' win over Arizona on Monday and was not in the lineup on Tuesday after undergoing an MRI exam. The Rangers had an off-day on Wednesday.

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"I don't get any indication that it's going to be long-term, but we still reserve the right to let it settle down for a couple of days and see where it is at," Texas manager Jeff Banister told MLB.com. "It doesn't matter if you are 28 or 38, hamstrings are such that once you've done it once, they can be recurring. It seems like he has managed it well to this point.

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Meanwhile, the Angels head to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex after a 3-2 road win on Wednesday over hapless San Diego. Los Angeles swept the series from the Padres and has won seven of its past nine games. The Angels are currently in fourth place in the AL West, 12 1/2 games behind Houston.

Los Angeles will likely be without All-Star center fielder Mike Trout, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 2 because of a right wrist contusion. He's eligible to come off the DL on Thursday, but left the team on Tuesday after the death of his brother-in-law, Aaron Cox, a former pitcher in the Angels' system.

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Cox, a native of Vineland, N.J., retired from baseball last week on the day after his 24th birthday. A right-hander, Cox pitched in parts of three seasons at the Rookie Level and Class A Advanced affiliates. The Angels took Cox in the 19th round of the 2015 Draft.

The cause of Cox's death has not been disclosed.

"The Angels organization is saddened to hear of the passing of Aaron Cox, a member of the Angels family since 2015," the club said in an official statement. "We are deeply heartbroken and shocked by this tragic loss. Our heartfelt prayers and condolences to his family and friends. Aaron will always have a special place in the hearts of those within the organization."

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Jurado will make the fifth major league start of his career and will pitch on six days' rest due to Wednesday's day off. Texas is 2-2 in his four starts.

Jurado allowed six runs in five innings in a 7-3 loss to the New York Yankees on Thursday. He allowed four homers after giving up just one in his first three starts. Through four starts, right-handers are hitting .244 off him while lefties are batting .294.

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