Extra Bases: Garza gets chance in big game

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Well, here you go.

The Rangers traded for Matt Garza because of his reputation for being a big-game pitcher. Thursday night's series opener against the Los Angeles Angels qualifies as a big game.

A huge game.

The Rangers are running out of games -- there are four left -- and Tampa Bay and Cleveland aren't losing in front of them. So the only thing Texas can do is keep winning. Odds are the Rays and Indians won't win out.

That's where the Rangers turn to Garza and the rest of their rotation. Rangers starters are 5-0 with a 1.86 ERA in their last nine games. Texas is 6-3 during that stretch.

Garza had a big-game performance in his last start Saturday at Kansas City, allowing a run in eight innings. He kept things simple and commanded the strike zone.

"I've just got to keep it simple," Garza said. "That's kind of been my whole thing and it's kind of who I am. It's no time to work on anything anymore."

WHAT'S UP NOW: Rapid Reaction from Wednesday's 7-3 victory over the Astros. Plus, a postgame blog on Leonys Martin helping the Rangers keep pace in the wild-card race.

UP NEXT: It's all about Garza as he faces Angels right-hander Jerome Williams at 7:05 p.m. Thursday night on Fox Sports Southwest, ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Who will lose first -- Tampa Bay or Cleveland?