American League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, July 5th (All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (50-32) at Chicago White Sox (44-37), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Matt Harrison (11-3, 3.16) Chicago - Jose Quintana (3-1, 2.19)
(Sports Network) - Matt Harrison gets one more chance to state his case to be the American League starter at next week's All-Star Game when the Texas Rangers close out a three-game set with the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Harrison has been one of the best pitchers in the league this season, posting an 11-3 mark to go along with a 3.16 ERA. It doesn't hurt that it will be his manager, Ron Washington, making the decision, or that Tuesday would be his regular turn in the rotation.
The 26-year-old left-hander won his third straight start and seventh consecutive decision on Friday against Oakland, holding the A's to a pair of runs and eight hits in eight innings.
He finished 5-0 for the month of June and is 7-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his past eight starts.
"It's been a good month for me," Harrison said. "I've figured out a lot of things and been able to execute a lot more lately and execute with guys on base. Hopefully I can continue to do that in my next start and the second half."
Harrison tossed six scoreless innings to beat the White Sox the last time he faced them and is 3-0 lifetime against them with a 2.91 ERA.
Chicago, meanwhile, will counter with an impressive left-hander of its own in Jose Quintana, who is 3-1 with a 2.19 ERA. Quintana picked up the win on Friday against the New York Yankees, but wasn't particularly sharp, as he surrendered six runs and eight hits in six innings.
"That's a good win, because it didn't start off the way I wanted," Quintana said through translator and White Sox manager of cultural relations Jackson Miranda. "The biggest thing is I battled, and once I saw the guys were hitting balls and trying to get me support, that gave me more energy to go out there."
Quintana, who has never faced the Rangers, had allowed two runs or less in his six previous starts, and had not allowed a run in either of his last two assignments before the start in the Bronx.
Kevin Youkilis seems to like his new ballpark. After smacking his first homer with his new club Tuesday, Youkilis provided the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning Wednesday, lifting the White Sox to a 5-4 win.
Alejandro De Aza grinded out an eight-pitch walk off of Mike Adams (1-3) to start to 10th. De Aza fouled off a pitch off his knee during the at-bat and stayed on the ground for several minutes.
"Once he fouled that ball off, it was like icing a kicker," Adams said. "It kind of got me out of rhythm a little bit."
After De Aza stole second, he raced home when Youkilis ripped an 0-2 pitch for a single to left.
Youkilis was mobbed by his teammates near the pitcher's mound while the rest of the spectators at U.S. Cellular Field broke into chants of "Youk! Youk! Youk!"
The 33-year-old was rather unimpressive during his first seven games -- all on the road -- with Chicago since being acquired from the Boston Red Sox on June 24.
He was just 6-for-26 (.231) on the road trip, but he's contributed plenty of fireworks during his first homestand. Youkilis went 3-for-6 with four RBI and three runs scored during Tuesday's 19-2 shellacking of Texas and followed that with a 2-for-4 effort Wednesday.
"I had a little rut baseball-wise and statistically and a funk and hopefully this will be a thing where I can keep going forward and playing better ball," Youkilis said.
Addison Reed (2-1) picked up the win following a 1-2-3 top of the 10th.
Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez added a pair of hits and a run scored for the White Sox, who have won six of their last eight games.
Josh Hamilton belted his 26th homer of the season for Texas, which has dropped three straight on the heels of a five-game winning streak.
Texas took two of three from the White Sox earlier in the season.
07/05 10:37:35 ET