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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, April 8th (All times Eastern)

Chicago White Sox (1-1) at Texas Rangers (1-1), 8:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Gavin Floyd (0-0, 0.00) Texas - Matt Harrison (0-0, 0.00)

(Sports Network) - Coming off a career-high 14-win campaign, Matt Harrison will make his first start of 2012 tonight when the Texas Rangers finish their season-opening series against the Chicago White Sox.

The 26-year-old left-hander was five games above .500 in 2011 over 31 games (30 starts) to go with a 3.39 ERA. He was a particularly dominant at the start of the season with three straight victories, allowing one earned runs in each of those outings.

After ending the regular season with a four-decision win streak, Harrison faltered against the Cardinals in the World Series, being tagged for a pair of losses, including the deciding seventh game.

Harrison was Texas' best starting pitcher this spring, logging a 1.69 ERA over four starts, but other than last season, the problem for the hurler has been the first month of the season. Harrison's 5.42 ERA in April is his highest in any month. He's 2-0 with a 3.54 ERA in five starts against the White Sox.

Gavin Floyd counters for Chicago. the righty went 12-13 with a 4.37 ERA in 31 games (30 starts) last season. Floyd also was successful in April, going 3-1 during the month. He's 2-3 with a 4.73 ERA in six games against Texas.

The Rangers' Josh Hamilton has hit Floyd pretty hard, going 6-for-10.

Last night, Alex Rios hit a leadoff homer against Joe Nathan in the top of the ninth inning, lifting the White Sox to a 4-3 win. Paul Konerko went 2-for-4 and knocked in the other three White Sox runs while Matt Thornton pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning to pick up the win.

Chicago bounced back from a 3-2 loss in the opener of this three-game series on Friday.

Mike Napoli, Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre knocked in runs for the Rangers but Andrus made the final out in a 1-2-3 ninth that got Hector Santiago his first MLB save.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said it was good to get his first win and praised the effort from starting pitcher Jake Peavy, who allowed eight hits and a walk.

"Jake pitched great and had energy, everything we asked of him," said Ventura.

These teams split eight meetings last season.

04/08 11:27:25 ET