American League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, May 17th (All times Eastern)
Oakland Athletics (19-19) at Texas Rangers (24-14), 2:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Brandon McCarthy (3-3, 2.56) Texas - Matt Harrison (4-3, 5.23)
(Sports Network) - The American League West-leading Texas Rangers were able to get back into the win column in the series opener with the Oakland Athletics and will try for a sweep in this two-game set today in Arlington.
Adrian Beltre hit a two-run home run to highlight a four-run fourth inning for the Rangers, who had lost two straight and three of four games before a 4-1 win last night. Elvis Andrus and Craig Gentry both finished with two hits and an RBI in the win.
Rangers rookie Yu Darvish pitched into the eighth inning, striking out seven and walking two to improve to 6-1 on the season.
"He took us as deep in the game as he possibly could," said Rangers manager Ron Washington. "He was very efficient tonight. He loaded up the strike zone and that's what he had to do -- make them swing the bat."
Josh Hamilton extended his hitting streak to 16 games with an infield single in the fourth inning and scored on Beltre's two-run homer for a 2-1 lead. He finished 2-for-4 and has 25 hits, 10 homers and 26 RBI during his streak. Washington may opt to rest Hamilton this afternoon.
The Rangers won for the sixth time in 10 tries and will close out a seven-game homestand tonight (3-3). Texas will play its next six games on the road against the Astros and Mariners.
Texas has lost three of Matt Harrison's last four starts and looks to change that outcome when he toes the rubber Thursday. Harrison allowed four runs and four hits, including a home run, over six innings of work in Saturday's 4-2 loss to the LA Angels of Anaheim.
Harrison fell to 4-3 in seven starts and raised his earned run average to 5.23. He started the year with three straight wins before the recent slump. The lefty has allowed at least one home run in each of his past five starts and is 1-2 in three trips to the Arlington mound. In nine career games, six of which have been starts, against Oakland, Harrison is 4-1 with a 4.10 ERA.
Oakland has dropped two straight and five of eight games, and received a rough outing from starting pitcher Tom Millone last night. Millone was reached for four runs and nine hits in seven innings of work to absorb the loss.
"I felt like I went out there, threw strikes and was pounding the zone," said Milone. "They're just a good-hitting team. They put the ball in play and made things happen."
Jemile Weeks, who had a team high two hits, scored the only run of the game for the Athletics on a sacrifice fly by Josh Reddick in the first inning. Weeks has two doubles and five runs in his last eight games.
The A's are 1-2 on a seven-game road trip which continues with three games in San Francisco this weekend. Oakland third baseman Brandon Inge could end up on the disabled list with a right groin injury and hasn't played since Saturday. He is batting just .188 this season, but has five homers and 19 RBI.
Former Ranger Brandon McCarthy looks to keep his personal winning streak intact when he toes the rubber today for the Athletics. McCarthy has won three straight starts since opening the year 0-3 with a 3.38 ERA in his initial five outings.
McCarthy had his best performance of the season in Saturday's 3-1 win over Detroit, as he struck out 10 batters in seven scoreless innings without issuing a walk. He is now 3-3 on the year with a 2.56 ERA. The right-hander, who is 2-1 in three road starts, will try to improve on a 1-4 mark in nine lifetime appearances (7 starts) against the Rangers.
Texas went 13-6 against Oakland a season ago, going 7-2 in Arlington.
05/17 10:41:41 ET