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Texas at Kansas City

Venue: Kauffman Stadium
  •  

Josh Hamilton finally seems to be pulling out of his slump. The Texas Rangers hope Matt Harrison's brief funk doesn't go any further.

Harrison will try to avoid losing a third straight start while Hamilton and the rest of the AL West-leading Rangers look to continue their offensive barrage Friday night in the opener of a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals.

Hamilton went 6 for 19 with two doubles, a homer and five RBIs in this week's four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels after hitting .113 with one homer over his previous 14 contests. The 2010 AL MVP was booed during last Friday's 9-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox while going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, and manager Ron Washington gave him Saturday off.

Hamilton hit .177 in July, but he continued his recent resurgence with two hits and four RBIs in Thursday's 15-9 victory over the Angels.

"Basically I've said stop thinking about it, stop listening to everybody - everybody's got something to say," Hamilton said. "Just go out there and play. React. Try to slow the game down again. It worked. There's nothing wrong with my swing, it's just about trusting myself, not being too aggressive and trying to slow the game down again."

The Rangers (61-43) collected 26 runs and 35 hits - six by Ian Kinsler - while winning the last two games against the Angels, who had pulled within three games in the division by taking the first two. Texas now leads Oakland by 4 1/2 games and Los Angeles by five.

Harrison (12-6, 3.19 ERA) has been instrumental to the Rangers' success this year, but he's been hit hard in his last two starts.

The left-hander has given up nine runs and 15 hits - three homers - over 13 innings in losses to the Angels and White Sox. Harrison had gone 8-1 with a 1.34 ERA in his previous 10 outings.

He hasn't dropped three starts in a row since a career-worst four-game skid April 20-May 6, 2011.

Harrison is 2-1 with a 4.37 ERA in four starts against the Royals (44-60). He's making his first start at Kansas City since a victory Aug. 27, 2008, when he yielded one earned run in 6 2-3 innings.

He may want to be wary of Alcides Escobar, who has gone 9 for 22 with eight RBIs in his last five games and is batting a career-best .307 this season.

The shortstop came up big again Thursday, hitting a game-ending RBI single in a 7-6, 11-inning win over Cleveland as Kansas City finished a three-game sweep.

"He's been carrying us pretty much the whole way," first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "He did what he's been doing all year. He came up with the big hit and a big sweep in the division."

A fourth straight win would match the Royals' longest run of the season, but that may be difficult with Jeremy Guthrie (0-2, 9.58) on the mound. The right-hander has lost both of his starts with Kansas City after being acquired from Colorado last month, and he's 0-8 with a 7.76 ERA in his last 13 games - nine starts - overall.

Guthrie was pounded by Seattle last Friday, surrendering six runs and 11 hits - two homers - in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-1 loss.

Since 2010, Guthrie is 0-2 with a 4.32 ERA in five games - four starts - versus Texas. Hamilton is 5 for 12 with two doubles and two homers against him in that stretch.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Weather
weather image  Strong thunderstorms. Mostly sunny. Hot.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
94°F75°F9mph/E56%53%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Texas2nd AL West107.5881 ½ 7-3 W 4
Kansas City1st AL Central97.562-6-4 W 5
Probable Starters

Matt Harrison, LHP
2012 stats
135.1 Innings Pitched 101.0
12-6 Wins-Losses 3-11
3.19 Earned Run Average 6.68
36 Walks 34
81 Strikeouts 53
101 Pitches Per Start 92
Career vs. opponent
23.0 Innings Pitched 58.2
2-1 Wins-Losses 3-2
4.70 Earned Run Average 3.84

Jeremy Guthrie, RHP
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Jeremy Guthrie
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Andrus136011.462
Young2510120.400
Kinsler248014.333
Hamilton175233.294
Murphy72003.286
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Matt Harrison
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Butler107110.700
Escobar21000.500
Hosmer31000.333
Betancourt31021.333
Francoeur31000.333
 

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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Texas -175 Kansas City 165
Injuries
Texas
PlayerInjury
J. AdduciFinger
A. BeltreQuad
E. BeltreLeg
M. HarrisonBack
D. HollandKnee
J. OrtizFoot
J. ProfarShoulder
J. SaundersAnkle
T. ScheppersElbow
G. SotoLeg
Kansas City
PlayerInjury
F. BuenoFinger
L. CainGroin
T. CollinsElbow
L. HochevarElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 11MINMIN 10-1Gibson Chen 
Apr 12MINMIN 7-1Nolasco Shields 
Apr 13MINMIN 4-3Fien Crow 
Apr 18KCKC 5-0Vargas Nolasco 
Apr 19KCKC 5-4  
Apr 20KC 2:10 PM EDT  
Jun 30MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 1MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 2MIN 1:10 PM EDT  
Jul 29KC 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 30KC 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 31KC 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 15MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 16MIN 7:10 PM EDT  
Aug 17MIN 2:10 PM EDT  
Aug 18MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 26KC 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 27KC 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 28KC 8:10 PM EDT