American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, August 3rd (All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (61-43) at Kansas City Royals (44-60), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Matt Harrison (12-6, 3.19) Kansas City - Jeremy Guthrie (0-2, 9.58)
(Sports Network) - Matt Harrison will try to get back to his winning ways when the American League West-leading Texas Rangers open up a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals.
Harrison is a solid 12-6 on the season but has lost two straight starts for the Rangers, who are coming off a four-game split with the division-rival Angels.
After dropping the first two games of the series Texas broke the bats out, winning 11-10 in 10 innings on Wednesday and following that up with a 15-9 victory on Thursday.
Mitch Moreland provided a go-ahead, pinch-hit single as part of a four-run seventh inning to lift the Rangers in the finale.
Roy Oswalt (4-2) earned the victory after tossing a pair of scoreless innings in relief after Texas starter Ryan Dempster, who was acquired from the Chicago Cubs at Tuesday's trade deadline, was shelled for eight runs on nine hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings in his first American League start.
Josh Hamilton knocked in four runs and Ian Kinsler recorded three hits, including a solo home run, to go with two RBI and four runs scored for the Rangers.
"That's quite a team over there. They don't quit, they keep coming," said Texas manager Ron Washington of the Angels. "They're tough throughout that lineup, but we rose to the occasion. We got challenged and we answered. I'm pretty happy with what we did in this series."
The Royals, meanwhile, snapped a five-game skid by taking three straight over Cleveland, including Thursday's 7-6 11-inning win.
Alcides Escobar drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th in that one as Kansas City completed the sweep at Kauffman Stadium.
Eric Hosmer smoked a three-run home run and Alex Gordon added a solo shot for the Royals, who earned the sweep on the heels of a lengthy slide.
"It's great to put some runs on the board early," said Royals second baseman Chris Getz. "I feel like we've done it this whole series. We've had that big inning and it put us in the driver's seat, but obviously they came back tonight. It just shows even though you put up that big inning that you've got to keep grinding away."
Harrison has allowed nine runs on 15 hits in 13 innings during losses to the Angels and White Sox after going 8-1 with a 1.34 ERA in his previous 10 appearances. The lefty is 2-1 with a 4.37 ERA in four career starts against the Royals.
He will be opposed by the struggling Jeremy Guthrie, who has lost both of his starts with the Royals since being acquired from Colorado last month.
Guthrie was 3-9 with a 6.35 ERA in 19 games (15 starts) for the Colorado Rockies before being sent to Kansas City for equally disappointing Jonathan Sanchez. Things haven't gotten any better for Guthrie since the trade, as he is 0-2 in his two starts with the Royals, while pitching to a 9.58 ERA.
Counting his time with the Rockies, Guthrie is 0-8 with a 7.76 ERA in his last 13 games. Lifetime, the right-hander is 3-2 with a 3.84 ERA in 12 games (nine starts) versus Texas.
Kansas City took two games from the Rangers in Arlington back in May. Texas went 6-2 in this series a season ago.
08/03 10:47:13 ET