Published August 24, 2012
| Sports Network
Matt Harrison takes aim at a career-high 15th victory of the season on Friday night when the Texas Rangers continue a four-game set with the Minnesota Twins that got a bit heated in the opener.
Harrison matched his win career-high win total from a season ago by beating the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, moving to 14-7 with a 3.19 earned run average in 24 starts.
Making his fourth straight road start and seventh in eight outings, Harrison held the Jays to a pair of runs on a season-low two hits and a walk in eight innings. The lefty also struck out seven in the 11-2 win.
"He worked fast, he got quick outs, he pounded the strike zone, he used all his pitches," Texas manager Ron Washington said of Harrison's outing.
Harrison, 4-3 with a 3.43 ERA in nine home starts this season, beat the Twins in his previous encounter with them this season. The 26-year-old was charged with a run over eight innings, moving to 2-2 with a 3.82 ERA in eight lifetime meetings, including four starts.
Texas took Thursday's opener by a 10-6 score, but Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire didn't last long in the setback.
After Twins catcher Joe Mauer was hit in the back by Rangers starter Roy Oswalt on a 3-0 count in the top of third, Minnesota starter Scott Diamond threw over the head of Texas' Josh Hamilton after retiring Elvis Andrus on a grounder to begin the bottom of the frame.
Diamond was immediately ejected by home plate umpire Wally Bell and Gardenhire was ejected shortly after when he came out to argue.
"I'm not going to get into that," Gardenhire told Minnesota's website following the game. "I'm not going to get into that at all. You saw it. I don't have to talk about that. If you think that's the right way to handle that situation, then we differ in opinion. I've never seen it happen that way before, so that's just the way it went."
Hamilton ended with five runs batted in and Mitch Moreland hit a tie-breaking RBI double as part of a six-run eighth inning for the Rangers, who have won five of six and lead the Oakland Athletics by six games for first place in the AL West.
Adrian Beltre, who hit three homers in Wednesday's victory over the Baltimore Orioles, went deep again Thursday on Thursday. He also doubled with one out in the eighth to help get manager Ron Washington get his 500th win as the club's manager.
"I'm still absorbing it," said Washington. "I didn't get there alone. I just hope I can be here and win 500 more."
Texas' Michael Young left the opener in the bottom of the first inning to be with his wife, who delivered the couple's third child after he came to the hospital.
Minnesota, which has lost three straight and eight of nine, go with Samuel Deduno tonight.
The 29-year-old righty won his first four decisions over seven starts this season after debuting with the club in early July, but suffered the first loss of his career on Sunday at the Seattle Mariners. He limited the damage to two runs over six innings despite five hits and six walks, but took a 5-1 setback.
Deduno has walked 36 batters over 46 innings, going 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA in eight starts.
He faced the Rangers for the first time on July 7 in his Twins debut, giving up three runs over 5 1/3 frames of a no-decision in his first career start.
The Rangers have won six of seven against the Twins this season, including three of four in Texas.