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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, August 17th (All times eastern)

Texas Rangers (68-49) at Toronto Blue Jays (55-63), 7:07 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Yu Darvish (12-8, 4.54) Toronto - J.A. Happ (1-1, 6.35)

(Sports Network) - Lefty J.A. Happ makes his third start with the Toronto Blue Jays tonight when they host the Texas Rangers in the opening game of a three- game weekend series at ROgers Centre.

A 2004 draft choice of the Philadelphia Phillies, Happ debuted with the Phillies in 2007 and won 12 games for them in 2009 before a midseason trade in 2010 sent him to Houston in exchange for Roy Oswalt.

He won 18 games with the Astros through July 20 of this season, when he was sent to Toronto as part of a 10-player deal.

Happ made four relief appearances to begin his stint in the American League and has since split decisions in two starts - losing at Tampa Bay and defeating the New York Yankees while allowing 13 hits and eight runs in 10 innings.

His lone career start against Texas came with Houston on June 20, 2011 and ended in an 8-3 loss after he was touched for seven runs in 2 2/3 innings.

He's opposed by Japanese righty Yu Darvish, who faces the Blue Jays for the third time in his initial major league season.

Darvish, who turned 26 on Thursday, downed Toronto, 4-1 in an April 30 start at Rogers Centre, then repeated the feat with a 12-6 win in Texas on May 27.

In the two starts combined, he's allowed four runs on 11 hits in 12 innings while walking five batters and striking out 12.

Darvish was an 8-3 winner over Detroit in his most recent outing after allowing three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings on Aug. 12.

On Thursday in New York, Adrian Beltre and Craig Gentry both knocked in three runs, helping the Rangers hold off the Yankees, 10-6, in the finale of a four- game series.

David Murphy went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored for the Rangers, who snapped an eight-game skid at Yankee Stadium. Geovany Soto and Elvis Andrus added an RBI apiece.

"We obviously had a never say die attitude (Thursday), and that's easier said than done," Murphy said. "It seemed like we were very determined, regardless of if we were up or down, to continue to put runs on the board and we were able to pull it out."

Texas starter Derek Holland gave up five runs - four earned - on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. Tanner Scheppers (1-0) recorded the final out in the sixth to pick up his first win the majors.

In Toronto, Alex Rios crushed a three-run home run against his former team and the Chicago White Sox belted a season-high tying five homers as they blasted the Blue Jays, 7-2, in the finale of a four-game set.

Aaron Laffey (3-4) was saddled with the loss after giving up three hits - all solo home runs - and one walk with five strikeouts over six frames.

Moises Sierra clubbed a two-run shot to account for the Blue Jays offense, as they lost for the eighth time in their last 10 games.

"We were plagued by the long ball," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Once again our struggles to generate any kind of consistent offense showed up here again tonight."

The Rangers won four of the first six games of 2012 against the Blue Jays, including three straight in a series in Texas from May 25-27.

Toronto won the 2011 season series, 6-4.

08/17 10:39:34 ET

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