Houston at Texas

Venue: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
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Despite a string of sub-.500 opponents, the Texas Rangers have cooled off from a torrid stretch that culminated with a sweep of the Houston Astros.

The Rangers will try to get rolling again and protect their slim lead atop the AL West during another series against the Astros that begins Monday night.

Texas (71-53) is in the middle of a stretch of 24 consecutive games against teams with losing records but dropped to 2-3 on its current homestand with a 4-3 defeat to Seattle on Sunday. After his club rallied from three one-run deficits, Joe Nathan gave up the go-ahead double in the ninth.

The loss and Oakland's victory over Cleveland cut the Rangers' edge in the division to one-half game.

"I'm not going to sit here and second guess," Nathan told the team's website.

Texas will try to conclude its eight-game stay in Arlington on a more positive note by adding to its recent dominance of the last-place Astros (41-82). The Rangers have won 15 of 17 matchups dating back to last season and five of the last six at home.

Houston, though, heads into this series having won of four of six since being swept in four games by Texas at Minute Maid Park from Aug. 9-12. The Astros took two of three from the Los Angeles Angels this weekend, and Matt Dominguez provided a tiebreaking three-run homer during his four-hit performance in Sunday's 7-5 victory.

"At some point, we're going to start to get our breaks," manager Bo Porter said. "We're swinging the bats real well, and we're getting good starting pitching."

The Astros were slated to start Jordan Lyles in this game, but he made a surprise relief appearance in Sunday's win. Houston is expected to turn to Lucas Harrell (6-13, 5.16 ERA) in this game.

The major league's co-leader in losses has made one start since a miserable outing in Texas on July 5. He gave up a season-high nine runs over 3 2-3 innings in a 10-5 loss and is 0-2 with a 12.00 ERA in two career starts in Arlington.

Harrell is 1-3 with a 6.10 ERA in four overall starts against the Rangers.

Matt Garza (2-1, 3.86), meanwhile, will try for a better performance after going 1-1 with a 5.23 ERA in his three starts this month. That includes a 9-5 win over the Astros on Aug. 9.

Garza gave up four runs over seven innings in that game, struck out eight and got seven runs of support. He's received two runs or fewer in his four other outings since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs on July 22.

"He can give up four runs and we'll still win," manager Ron Washington told the team's website about Garza. "He just keeps us in ballgames."

Garza is having his start bumped up one day after Alexi Ogando developed inflammation in a nerve in his right shoulder. Garza has won three straight decisions against the Astros, also limiting them to a solo homer and three other hits in eight innings of a 3-1 win June 21 for the Cubs.

Adrian Beltre, batting .437 in his last 19 games, hit a two-run homer off Harrell in the win in July. Beltre is hitting .455 with five doubles, four homers and 10 RBIs in his last 11 matchups with the Astros.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Lucas Harrell, RHP
2013 stats
129.0 Innings Pitched 106.0
6-13 Wins-Losses 8-2
5.16 Earned Run Average 3.40
71 Walks 27
74 Strikeouts 90
101 Pitches Per Start 101
Career vs. opponent
23.0 Innings Pitched 53.1
1-4 Wins-Losses 3-3
5.87 Earned Run Average 4.05

Matt Garza, RHP
Weather
weather image  Sunny. Pleasantly warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
93°F70°F8mph/SE33%1%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Houston4th AL West7092.432283-7 L 2
Texas5th AL West6795.414317-3 L 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Matt Garza
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Lyles110101.000
Carter62102.333
Corporan31000.333
Castro93202.333
Elmore31001.333
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Lucas Harrell
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Gentry53001.600
Martin21001.500
Beltre136111.462
Rios62011.333
Murphy113211.273
 

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Injuries
Houston
PlayerInjury
M. AlbersShoulder
J. CisneroElbow
J. CrainBiceps, calf
D. DownsOblique
G. SpringerKnee, quadriceps
J. ZeidFoot
Texas
PlayerInjury
S. BakerTriceps
E. BeltreLeg
M. ChoiceHamstring
S. ChooElbow
Y. DarvishElbow
P. FielderNeck
P. FigueroaElbow
M. HarrisonBack
D. HollandIllness
K. KouzmanoffBack
M. MikolasShoulder
M. MorelandAnkle
A. OgandoElbow
M. PerezElbow
J. ProfarShoulder
A. RiosThumb
T. ScheppersElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 6OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Apr 7OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Apr 8OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Apr 9OAK 3:35 PM EDT  
May 1TEX   
May 2TEX   
May 3TEX   
Jun 9OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Jun 10OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Jun 11OAK 3:35 PM EDT  
Jun 23TEX   
Jun 24TEX   
Jun 25TEX   
Sep 11TEX   
Sep 12TEX   
Sep 13TEX   
Sep 22OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Sep 23OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Sep 24OAK 3:35 PM EDT