Just days removed from his last start in Double-A, Justin Grimm will make his first career start for the Texas Rangers on Saturday when they face the Houston Astros in the second test of an interleague series at Rangers Ballpark.
With a slew of starters on the disabled list the Rangers have needed to find starting pitching from wherever they can and the most recent dip into their minor league system has brought up Grimm.
Grimm was a fifth-round selection in the 2010 MLB draft out of the University of Georgia. The 23-year-old right-hander has spent this season with the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders where he has impressed with an 8-3 record to go along with a 1.87 ERA. Grimm's strong season earned him a selection to the Texas League All-Star game.
It wasn't too long ago that Lucas Harrell, who will make the start for Houston, made his major league debut. In his third season, and first as a full-time starter, Harrell has put together a decent campaign with a 6-4 record and a 4.83 ERA.
The 27-year-old was not effective but pitched deep into the game in his last start against the Chicago White Sox. He ended up going 7 1/3 innings and got the win as the Houston bullpen held off a late charge from Chicago to hold on for an 11-9 win. It was his sixth victory of the season.
Harrell is not a strikeout pitcher with only 38 total this season but in that last start he managed to collect five strikeouts. It was only the second time this season he had at least five strikeouts.
Coincidentally Harrell's season-high in strikeouts came when he fanned six Texas batters in a start in mid-May. Harrell got the win in that game, his only other career start against the Rangers. That outing was his third in interleague play where he is 2-0 with a 3.95 ERA.
The Rangers got off to a good start in the series with a 6-2 win on Friday night.
Yu Darvish bounced back from a rough start in his previous outing and went eight strong innings, allowing just two runs to go with a MLB career-high 11 strikeouts.
The Ranger bats were silent through the first four innings but backed Darvish up with a five-run fifth inning with all five runs coming on RBI singles. Mitch Moreland would add a solo home run in the eighth inning to give Joe Nathan some breathing room in the ninth inning.
Justin Maxwell went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and Jed Lowrie knocked in a run with an RBI single in the Astros loss.
This is the second and final series these teams have against each other this season. The Rangers took two of the first three back on May 18-20 at Minute Maid Park and have now won 17 of the last 22 matchups dating back to 2009.