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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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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
Weather
weather image  Strong thunderstorms. Mostly sunny. Hot.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
94°F75°F9mph/E56%53%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Texas5th AL West5381.396285-5 W 1
Kansas City1st AL Central7460.552-5-5 L 2
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. AdduciConcussion
E. BeltreLeg
S. ChooElbow
Y. DarvishElbow
P. FielderNeck
P. FigueroaElbow
M. HarrisonBack
D. HollandKnee
K. KouzmanoffBack
M. MikolasShoulder
M. MorelandAnkle
A. OgandoElbow
M. PerezElbow
J. ProfarShoulder
T. ScheppersElbow
J. SmolinskiFoot
Kansas City
PlayerInjury
L. HochevarElbow
E. HosmerHand
O. InfanteShoulder
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 21CLECLE 4-3McAllister Guthrie 
Apr 22CLEKC 8-2Shields Salazar 
Apr 23CLECLE 5-3Shaw Herrera 
Apr 24CLECLE 5-1Kluber Chen 
Jun 10KCKC 9-5Vargas Kluber 
Jun 11KCKC 4-1Ventura Bauer 
Jul 4CLEKC 7-1Ventura Tomlin 
Jul 5CLECLE 7-3House Guthrie 
Jul 6CLECLE 4-1Kluber Duffy 
Jul 24KCKC 2-1Crow Rzepczynski 
Jul 25KCKC 6-4Herrera Carrasco 
Jul 26KCKC 7-5Guthrie McAllister 
Jul 27KCCLE 10-3Salazar Chen 
Aug 29KCCLE 6-1Salazar Vargas 
Aug 30KC 7:10 PM EDT  
Aug 31KC 8:07 PM EDT  
Sep 22CLE 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 23CLE 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 24CLE 7:05 PM EDT