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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, May 20th (All times eastern)
Seattle Mariners (21-22) at Texas Rangers (21-23), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Seattle - Hisashi Iwakuma (2-0, 1.59) Texas - Colby Lewis (3-2, 4.99)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers could get a big lineup boost -- literally -- if first baseman Prince Fielder is cleared to return to the field as the team opens a two-game series with the visiting Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night at Globe Life Park.
Fielder has missed a pair of games with a disk issue in his neck. He last played Friday and was the designated hitter before getting a pain injection on Saturday.
Texas manager Ron Washington said a decision on Fielder's status will come when he arrives at the ballpark. If he doesn't play, chances are Mitch Moreland will make a fourth straight start at first base.
"We've had to deal with adversity all year," Moreland said. "You come in every day ready to play."
The Rangers will face Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma, who's pitched three times in 2014 since beginning the season on the disabled list with a torn finger tendon on his pitching hand.
He's won two decisions and compiled a 1.59 earned run average since returning to the rotation and has made 11 straight starts since his last loss in August -- a streak in which he's gone 6-0 with a 1.61 ERA.
Two of the six wins were against Texas and he was 2-1 with a 2.94 ERA in five starts against the Rangers last season.
He's opposed by Colby Lewis, who's continuing his own return from elbow and hip surgeries.
Lewis was a 4-0 winner last Monday after striking out eight batters in 5 2/3 innings against Houston, while throwing a season-high 108 pitches.
"I'm trying to go as deep as I can in ballgames," Lewis said. "Sometimes it doesn't work out because I get my pitch count up. One of these days I'll get there. I'm not too concerned about it."
He's met the Mariners twice this season and is 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA.
On Sunday in Minnesota, Felix Hernandez fired eight innings of two-run ball, Robinson Cano posted four hits an RBI and two runs scored and the Mariners beat the Twins, 6-2, in the finale of a three-game set.
Hernandez (5-1) fanned five and surrendered seven hits and a walk, while Michael Saunders smacked an RBI triple among his two RBI and pair of hits to go with a run scored for Seattle.
"With (Hernandez), you have to play perfect baseball," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We didn't do that."
In Texas, Moreland's two-run home run helped the Rangers to a 6-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in the finale of a three-game set.
Alex Rios drove in a pair of runs, while Shin-Soo Choo went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Rangers.
"We just wanted to go out and get back to playing Texas Rangers baseball and trust each other as a teammate," Moreland said. "We know we're capable of doing special things as a team and this was a good first step."
Nick Martinez pitched five innings in the start for Texas and allowed a run on four hits, while Aaron Poreda (2-0) got the win for tossing two innings in relief.
Texas is 4-3 versus the Mariners this season.
05/20 10:31:01 ET