(Sports Network) - Young lefty Michael Roth makes the first start of his big- league career on Wednesday night when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim host the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium to close out a three-game series.
Roth, who turned 23 in February, was ninth-round pick of the Angels last season and debuted on April 13 with two scoreless innings of relief while getting a 5-4 win over Houston.
He's pitched three subsequent times in a relief role and has allowed four hits and two runs in three innings.
The most recent of his outings was two days ago against the Rangers, when he allowed a hit and a run while retiring no one in Texas' 7-6 loss.
In his brief career thus far, he's allowed a .235 opposition batting average.
Texas replies with second-year Japanese phenom Yu Darvish, who aims for a fourth win in five starts.
The import won 16 of 25 decisions across 29 starts as a big-league rookie in 2012 and was selected to the American League's All-Star team.
He tossed seven innings of scoreless three-hit ball against Seattle in his most recent start on April 19.
Overall, in 26 2/3 innings, he's allowing a minuscule .144 batting average and came within an out of a no-hitter in his first start on April 2 at Houston.
Darvish, who beat the Angels in his subsequent start five days later, is 4-1 against them in his career.
On Tuesday, Howie Kendrick's game-winning solo homer in the 11th inning was his second of the night and lifted the Angels to a 5-4 win.
Facing Joe Ortiz (2-1) with one away, Kendrick got a 1-1 fastball down the heart of the plate and smacked it over the center field wall to give the Angels their fourth win in five games.
"I just tried to stay in the middle and drive the ball," Kendrick said. "He was trying to get the ball in and he left it over the plate. It was a four seam."
Kendrick also stroked a two-run shot and added an RBI single in the triumph.
Mike Trout's spectacular catch in the ninth kept the game tied. With a man on third and two outs, Adrian Beltre ripped a hooking liner earmarked for the left-field corner. But Trout got a fantastic jump on the ball and made a diving grab at the warning track to keep the contest tied.
Dane De La Rosa (1-0) tossed two perfect frames to pick up the win.
Nelson Cruz had a three-run homer for Texas, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.
"We battled back after giving them two runs in the first. Alexi (Ogando) kept us in the game and we felt good with Ortiz out there, but Howie got us tonight," Texas manager Ron Washington said.
The Rangers won two of three from the Angels when the teams played three games in Arlington in early April. The Angels won 10 of 19 games in the series last season.