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News » Rangers-Orioles Preview 2009-04-26

Rangers-Orioles Preview 2009-04-26

Rangers-Orioles Preview 2009-04-26
The Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles pitching staffs are probably relieved that after Monday they won't have to face one another again until September.

The teams close another high-scoring series Monday night in the finale of a four-game set at Camden Yards.

The Orioles (9-10) are looking to earn a split of this series after rallying for an 8-5 win over the Rangers (8-10) on Sunday. Brian Robers had four hits, including a fifth-inning home run, and Adam Jones added a three-run shot in the sixth to give Baltimore the lead. Chris Davis, David Murphy and Hank Blalock homered to give Texas a 5-1 lead in the fifth.

The Rangers lead the majors with 38 home runs, including 17 in six games against Baltimore. The Orioles, meanwhile, have hit 18 homers all season - 10 against Texas.

"We can mash, too," Jones said. "We're different ballclubs, different style teams. They hack. I love watching them - not against us, but I love watching them."

Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis extended his hitting streak to 13 games Sunday. He is batting .400 (20-for-50) with one homer, 14 RBIs and 14 runs scored during the stretch. Markakis ranks among the AL leaders with 19 RBIs this season.

Texas and Baltimore have combined for 33 runs in the first three games of this series after scoring 56 total runs in their three-game series at Arlington April 13-15. The season series, which resumes in Baltimore in early September, is tied at three wins apiece entering Monday.

While each team has had little trouble offensively, neither pitching staff has been too impressive. Orioles starters have an 8.64 ERA against Texas and have pitched beyond the fifth inning only once in the season series. The Rangers' bullpen, meanwhile, hasn't been much better. They are 1-2 with a 6.55 ERA versus Baltimore this season after Jason Jennings was charged with a blown save and the loss Sunday.

"My bullpen isn't giving me any concerns. I think my bullpen has been doing a good job," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It got us today. No concern here."

Washington and the Rangers look to bounce back Monday when they hand the ball to Matt Harrison (0-2, 9.20 ERA), who has struggled in all three of his starts. The left-hander pitched four innings at Toronto on Wednesday, allowing five runs and nine hits, including two homers, in an 8-7, 11-inning loss.

"Things just aren't going my way right now," Harrison said.

Harrison gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings of a 15-7 win over the Orioles last August.

After a strong start, Jeremy Guthrie (2-1, 5.16) is looking to bounce back following consecutive disappointing outings. The right-hander was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in starts against the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay, but he's 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA since in outings against Boston and the Chicago White Sox.

Guthrie pitched six innings against the White Sox on Wednesday, allowing five runs and eight hits in an 8-2 loss.

Guthrie is 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA in three starts and two relief appearances versus the Rangers. In two starts against them last season, he was 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA.

The Rangers hope to have Josh Hamilton back in the lineup Monday after he entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning Sunday. Hamilton, who hit .304 with 32 homers and 130 RBIs last season, bruised his ribs while sliding into third base on a double steal Saturday night.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 27, 2009

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