Angels look to gain ground on pivotal homestand

Angels look to gain ground on pivotal homestand

ANAHEIM -- After a 10-game road trip packed with offense but tainted with rough starts, blown leads and, ultimately, six losses, the Angels began the weekend seven back of the Rangers in the American League West with only 50 left to play.

The Angels can at least take comfort in a few things ...

• Divisional deficits of this size with that little time left have been overcome before, most recently by a 2009 Twins team that trailed the Tigers by seven with 26 left and ultimately beat them in a one-game playoff.

• The Angels will be home for the next 10 games.

• After playing 42 of their past 45 games against teams with winning records at the time their series began, the Angels' first six games will come against the Mariners and Indians, two clubs that are a combined 19 games below .500, before finishing with four against the Rays.

"There's no sense of urgency," catcher Chris Iannetta said, "I just think we need to win, if that makes sense."

It does, because if the Angels -- also a game back of the final Wild Card spot and 1 1/2 behind the A's in the AL West -- are going to make up some valuable ground, this would be a very good time to do it.

But "one game at a time" is the company line here, starting with a Friday night matchup against the dominant Felix Hernandez.

Is it hard to maintain that day-to-day focus considering where they reside in the standings?

"No, because we're not looking at that," Iannetta said. "Other people are looking at that, not us. We're looking at the game at hand. We actually believe some of the things that we say. When we say we're taking it one game at a time and we're focusing one day at a time, that's what we've trained ourselves to do."