American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, August 4th (All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (62-43) at Kansas City Royals (44-61), 6:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Scott Feldman (5-6, 4.76) Kansas City - Will Smith (2-3, 5.94)
(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers will try to make it four straight wins on Saturday when they take on the Kansas City Royals in game two of a three-game weekend series at the Ballpark in Arlington.
In Friday's series opener, the Texas Rangers took a 5-3 victory behind a strong outing from Matt Harrison. The right-hander pushed his team-leading record to 13-6 by allowing two runs over 6 2/3 runs on eight hits while striking out three. Former starter Alexi Ogando pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his second save of the season.
Mitch Moreland's three-run home run in the seventh inning proved to be the difference for the Rangers, who have won three in a row and sit 4 1/2 games ahead of Oakland in the AL West.
Salvador Perez went 3-for-4 for Kansas City and Yuniesky Betancourt added a RBI double for the Royals, who cut the lead to two (5-3) in the eighth inning and couldn't get any closer.
Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie dropped his ERA to 7.71 by allowing three runs over six innings while striking out four, but still took the loss which snapped a three-game winning streak.
It seems rookie Will Smith may be here to stay in the Kansas City rotation. Smith will be on the mound yet again on Saturday for his fourth start since being called up for the third time this season in late July.
During a season spent between the majors and minors, Smith has a 2-3 record with a less-than-stellar 5.94 ERA.
After allowing just one run over seven innings in a 4-1 win over the Angles, the left-hander gave up a respectable three runs over six innings of work against Seattle.
Interestingly enough, against the right-handed dominated Angels lineup he gave up just two hits, then allowed six of seven hits in the outing against Seattle to left-handed batters. Overall, left-handed batters are hitting .320 against Smith this season as opposed to .238 by right-handed hitters.
This will be only the third appearance Smith has made at Kauffman Stadium this season with the other four coming on the road. He is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in his two other appearances at home.
With just six outings in his career it comes as no surprise that this will be Smith's first outing against the powerful Rangers. Three of his six starts have come against teams from the AL West (the Angels and twice against the Mariners).
Fresh off his first start without allowing a run in over three years, Scott Feldman will try to keep up an impressive stretch when he makes the start for the Rangers this evening.
The right-hander pitched eight shutout innings in a 2-0 win over the Chicago White Sox his last time out. It is the first time he has not allowed the opposing team to start during an appearance since July 24, 2009 against the Royals.
Feldman has really turned it on over the last month with a 5-0 record to go with a 2.91 ERA in his last six outings. He has allowed just one run in his last 21 innings as well that includes a two-inning relief appearance against Minnesota on July 8.
Overall, the former 30th-round draft selection is now 5-6 with an ERA of 4.76 ERA in 18 appearances, 12 of which were starts, this season. His five wins this season more than double his win total from last season (2-1).
Feldman didn't give up an earned run but still took a loss in his only appearance against Kansas City this season. Feldman is 2-2 to go along with a 3.25 ERA against the Royals.
Kansas City took two games from the Rangers in Arlington back in May. Texas went 6-2 in this series a season ago.
08/04 10:33:41 ET