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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, May 22nd (All times Eastern)

Texas Rangers (22-24) at Detroit Tigers (27-15), 1:08 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Yu Darvish (3-2, 2.32) Detroit - Robbie Ray (1-0, 0.75)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Prince Fielder's return to Detroit has been put on hold, as he will not be in the lineup for a fourth straight day on Thursday when the Texas Rangers open a four-game series with the Tigers at Comerica Park.

Fielder did not travel with the Rangers to Detroit so he could have his ailing neck checked out by a spine specialist in Texas. It is possible, though, that Fielder could join the team and appear in a game at some point this weekend.

It's also a possibility he could land on the disabled list.

Fielder, of course, spent the last two seasons with the Tigers after agreeing to a 9-year, $214 million deal prior to the start of the 2012 season. However, he was dealt to Texas this offseason for second baseman Ian Kinsler.

It hasn't been smooth sailing for the burly first baseman in Arlington, as he is hitting just .247 with three home runs, 16 RBIs and a paltry .720 OPS in 42 games for Texas this season.

Texas as a whole hasn't been impressive, as it heads into this series having won just two of its last seven games following a 4-3 win over the Seattle Mariners to avoid a three-game sweep on Thursday.

One silver lining, though, has been ace right-hander Yu Darvish, who is 3-2 with a 2.32 ERA heading into today's start. Darvish was solid on Friday against Toronto, but received no run support and absorbed the loss, as he allowed two runs and struck out 11 over eight innings.

It was the 22nd time in his career that Darvish has struck out 10 or more batters in a game, third most in Rangers history. Nolan Ryan had 34 games with 10 or more strikeouts and Bobby Witt had 24.

"I don't really get frustrated," Darvish said, "If I could hit, or if I could hit 50 home runs, which I can't -- there's nothing to be frustrated about. I respect all of my teammates, I believe in them and also the other pitcher was pitching pretty well tonight, too."

Darvish could get himself back into the win column on Thursday, as he is 4-0 with a 3.86 ERA in four career starts against the Tigers.

Detroit will counter with lefty Robbie Ray, who has been terrific in two starts this season, going 1-0, while allowing just a run in 11 2/3 innings. He gets the nod on Thursday, as Rick Porcello experienced more soreness in his left side Saturday night and won't pitch again until this Saturday.

The Tigers are happy to be heading home after getting swept in a three-game series by the Cleveland Indians, culminating with a wild 11-10 loss on Thursday that ended on Al Alburquerque's bases-loaded balk in the bottom of the 13th inning.

Kinsler will face his former Rangers club for the first time after spending his first eight seasons in Texas.

05/22 10:31:41 ET