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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, April 14th (All times Eastern)

Texas Rangers (6-2) at Minnesota Twins (2-5), 1:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Yu Darvish (1-0, 7.94) Minnesota - Nick Blackburn (0-1, 7.50)

(Sports Network) - Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish got the victory in his major league debut, but it certainly wasn't an impressive performance by the Texas starter. He hopes for better results this afternoon when the Rangers continue a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins.

Darvish gave up eight hits and five runs over 5 2/3 innings in an 11-5 win over the Mariners on Monday. That's part of a Texas rotation that has gone 6-0 thus far.

That includes Friday's 4-1 win against the Twins when Matt Harrison pitched eight innings. Harrison (2-0) gave up just one run on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts for the Rangers, who have won five of their last six games. Elvis Andrus went 3-for-4 with a run scored and Ian Kinsler hit a solo home run.

"The guys behind me were outstanding tonight," said Harrison. "It seems like everytime they put a ball in play, the guys were just on it right away. They're the reason we won tonight."

Danny Valencia drove in the lone run of the game for the Twins, who came into the series having taken the final two games of a three-game set with the Angels. Anthony Swarzak (0-2) gave up four runs on nine hits over seven innings in the loss.

"They made some adjustments as good professional teams do," said Swarzak. "That's a good lineup over there and they kept getting ahead in the count, working their at-bats really well."

Today's starter for the Twins, Nick Blackburn, gave up five runs in six innings in his season debut, a 5-1 loss to the Angels on Monday. Going back to last season, Blackburn has lost his last five decisions, last getting a win July 8 against the White Sox. Additionally, Blackburn has struggled to a 1-3 mark with a 4.75 ERA in six games vs. Texas.

The Rangers didn't use former Twins closer Joe Nathan Friday night, although he could see action on Saturday if the situation warrants. Of Nathan's 263 career saves, 260 of them came with the Twins. He signed with Texas this past winter.

Minnesota was 5-3 against the Rangers last season.

04/14 10:34:43 ET