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09/30/09 2:34 AM ET

Palmer gets call as Halos look to stay sharp

Los Angeles (93-64) vs. Texas (85-72), 7:05 p.m. PT

ANAHEIM -- Matt Palmer gets the call for his 13th start of the season, facing southpaw Derek Holland, as the Angels continue to strike a balance between resting and remaining competitive in preparation for their American League Division Series showdown with Boston.

Palmer beat the Twins on July 25 in his most recent start, going five innings and yielding two earned runs. He opened the season with wins in his first five starts.

"Number one is setting the rotation," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia of his immediate goals, adding that he will announce his starters for the ALDS "in the next few days.

"It's always the most important thing you try to get in place. Then it's balancing the roster to position players and pitchers, understanding situations that might come up."

Scioscia rested center fielder Torii Hunter, left fielder Juan Rivera, shortstop Erick Aybar and first baseman Kendry Morales after Monday night's clinching 11-0 triumph over the Rangers.

"We'll go player by player and see what they need for the rest of the week," Scioscia said.

The Angels are now 7-10 against the Rangers, who at least are assured of winning the season series against the division champs.

Pitching matchup
LAA: RHP Matt Palmer (10-2, 4.17 ERA)
Palmer will be making his 13th start of the season and first since July 25 when he went five innings in a win against the Twins at home. He has a 2.97 ERA in 39 1/3 innings since the All-Star break. Palmer has yielded three earned runs in nine innings against the Rangers this season. He began the season with wins in his first five starts and was 6-0 before absorbing his first loss.

TEX: LHP Derek Holland (8-12, 6.14 ERA)
A tweak in his mechanics and a little bit of grit carried the 22-year-old left-hander to his first victory since Aug. 20 -- he had gone 0-5 with a 12.38 ERA in that span -- in an 8-3 win over Tampa Bay in his last start. Holland only worked five innings, but battled back for two scoreless innings after the Rays hit him for three in the third. Holland said pitching coach Mike Maddux had noticed he was falling forward in his delivery and got Holland to work on staying centered, allowing him to attack the plate and get ahead of hitters.

Angels starters have a 2.62 ERA in 202 2/3 innings in their past 29 outings, coinciding with the arrival of lefty Scott Kazmir from Tampa Bay. They have allowed two or fewer earned runs in 23 of the past 33 games. ... The Angels are hitting .304 over the past four games, scoring 33 runs. ... Chone Figgins, with two walks on Tuesday, now has 101 -- the most by an Angels player since Troy Glaus walked 107 times in 2001. ... Bobby Abreu is back in a groove with eight hits in his past 16 at-bats, snapping out of a 2-for-27 skid. ... Gary Matthews Jr. has six hits in his past 10 at-bats.

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Up next
• Thursday: Angels (John Lackey, 11-8, 3.77) vs. Rangers (Kevin Millwood, 12-10, 3.75), 3:05 p.m. PT
• Friday: Angels (Joe Saunders, 15-7, 4.62) at Athletics (Gio Gonzalez, 6-6, 5.73), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Angels (Ervin Santana, 8-8, 5.10) at Athletics (Dana Eveland, 2-3, 7.09), 1:05 p.m. PT

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.