American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, April 20th (All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (11-2) at Detroit Tigers (9-4), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Matt Harrison (2-0, 0.64) Detroit - Rick Porcello (1-0, 1.84)
(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers try to stretch their winning streak to eight straight games this evening when they continue a four-game set with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Texas continued to roll in Thursday's opener, as Ian Kinsler finished 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored in a 10-3 win over Detroit.
Michael Young and Nelson Cruz also collected three hits and drove in two runs each for the Rangers, who matched the 1989 squad (11-2) for the best start to this point in any season.
Mike Napoli homered to help Yu Darvish (2-0) pick up the win. The 25-year-old right-hander walked five, but allowed two hits and a run while fanning five over 6 1/3 innings.
"We tried to make it simple today," said Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba of Darvish's approach. "He threw a lot of fastballs tonight."
Over the seven-game streak Texas has scored 53 runs while batting .345. It leads the majors with 79 runs, 23 homers, a .306 batting average and a .521 slugging percentage. The Rangers also lead the AL with a 2.38 ERA and their starting pitchers are 9-0 for the first time in club history.
"We know that's a very good team - our people in Arizona said they were the best team they saw this spring," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "But they are in our league, so we have to play them."
Don Kelly finished 3-for-4 and knocked in all three runs for the Tigers, whose four-game win streak came to a halt.
Adam Wilk (0-2) was tagged in the loss for 10 hits and three runs -- two earned -- over four-plus frames.
"I threw a lot of strikes, and they ended up getting a lot of hits," Wilk said.
Texas has a great chance of extending its streak tonight, as it turns to lefty Matt Harrison, who has been one of the best pitchers in baseball here in the early going, pitching to a 0.64 earned run average. Harrison won for the second time in as many starts last Friday in Minnesota, as he allowed a run and seven hits in eight innings.
Dating back to last season, he is 6-0 with a 2.01 ERA in his last seven regular-season outings. However, he is 6-2 with a 3.82 ERA in 12 career starts with six-plus days of rest.
"Hopefully my command is still there," Harrison said. "It's a long break, but I put my work in between starts and I feel good about it. I'm ready to go."
Harrison, though, is 0-4 with a 7.43 ERA in five career starts against the Tigers.
Detroit, meanwhile, will counter with righty Rick Porcello, who is 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA. Porcello picked up a win on Sunday in Chicago, as he held the White Sox to a run and five hits in 7 2/3 innings.
Porcello has split his two starts with the Rangers and has pitched to a 6.30 ERA in those outings.
"This is probably one of the deepest lineups that we see," Porcello said of Texas. "They've got a lot of guys that can do damage. You just got to go out there and make pitches and throw strikes and just do the best you can to keep them off balance. It's a good team, there's not much else you can say."
The Tigers won six of nine versus the Rangers last season, winning four of six in Detroit.
04/20 10:37:03 ET