American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, April 13th
(All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (5-2) at Minnesota Twins (2-4), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Matt Harrison (1-0, 0.00)
Minnesota - Anthony Swarzak (0-1, 1.80)
(Sports Network) - Matt Harrison tries to follow up a terrific season debut
this evening when the Texas Rangers open a three-game set with the Minnesota
Twins at Target Field.
Harrison scattered six hits over six scoreless innings against the Chicago
White Sox on Sunday to get the win. Dating back to last season Harrison is 5-0
with a 2.21 ERA over his last six regular-season starts.
"I was able to throw my offspeed pitches for strikes early in the game,"
Harrison said. "It gave them something to swing at besides my fastball. They
fouled a lot of pitches off early, but I just kept pounding the strike zone
and making them put the ball in play."
The Rangers continued their hot start on Thursday, as Michael Young hit a
homer and knocked in four runs, lifting Texas past the Seattle Mariners, 5-3,
in the final test of a four-game series. Ian Kinsler went 3-for-4 with three
runs scored and an RBI for the Rangers, who went 5-2 on a seven-game
"You always feed off the guys in front of you," said Young. "Kinsler has been
doing a great job of getting on base this entire homestand."
Derek Holland (1-0) gave up two runs on five hits in 7 1/3 innings to pick up
the win. He fanned eight while improving to 6-1 lifetime against Seattle in 11
games (seven starts).
Minnesota, meanwhile, also comes in on a roll after taking the final two games
of their three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Justin
Morneau's two-run homer in the eighth gave the Twins the lead for good in a
"I easily could have been frustrated or down on myself or whatever," said
Morneau, who left the bases loaded in both the third and sixth innings. "I
think that is part of maturing as a baseball player, learning to move past
each at bat and realize each one you get to start over."
Joe Mauer also connected for his first homer, a three-run shot in fifth, and
finished 3-for-5 to highlight the Twins' 20-hit attack. Josh Willingham added
three hits with a solo homer and Denard Span went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a
run scored in the victory.
Hoping to deliver the Twins a third straight win tonight will be righty
Anthony Swarzak, who was dealt a hard-luck loss his first time out. Swarzak
held the Baltimore Orioles to a run and four hits over five innings on Sunday,
but the Twins managed just one run in the 3-1 loss that day.
With Jason Marquis set to return to the rotation next week, Swarzak could be
pitching for a spot in the rotation tonight, as either he or Liam Hendriks
are likely to be bumped out.
"It's always a competition with all the other guys in the league, not just the
guys in this clubhouse," Swarzak said. "We're all pulling for each other in
this clubhouse but it's always a competition. There are thousands of minor
league guys who are fighting for my job and guys in our organization in
Double-A and Triple-A fighting for my job. So it's going to be fun. We have
some good pitchers in this clubhouse."
This series could also feature the return to Minnesota for Texas closer Joe
Nathan, who signed with the Rangers this winter after spending the last eight
years with the Twins. Of his 263 career saves, 260 of them came with the
Nathan, though, is off to a shaky start with Texas, recording two saves as
well as two losses and a blown save in four appearances.
Minnesota was 5-3 against the Rangers last season.
04/13 10:53:56 ET