Interleague Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, May 18th
(All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (24-15) at Houston Astros (17-21), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Neftali Feliz (3-1, 3.32)
Houston - Wandy Rodriguez (3-3, 1.99)
(Sports Network) - The Lone Star Series between the Texas Rangers and Houston
Astros will commence this weekend, starting with tonight's opener of a three-
game set at Minute Maid Park.
The Silver Boot will be up for grabs between the two Texas combatants with the
Rangers aiming for bragging rights in a fourth consecutive year. The Rangers
went 4-2 against the Astros last season and are 14-4 in the past 18 matchups
in the series. Texas also has won eight of nine in Space City and is 37-29
overall in the Lone Star Series.
Texas currently leads the AL West by four games over Oakland, but went 3-4 on
a recent homestand. It split a two-game series with the Athletics and suffered
a 5-4 loss in 10 innings on Thursday, as Kila Ka'aihue singled home Jonny
Gomes in the top of the 10th inning for the game-winning run. Rangers reliever
Mike Adams was dealt the loss and starter Matt Harrison allowed three runs and
eight hits in 5 1/3 innings of work.
"I wouldn't call it frustrating," said Rangers manager Ron Washington. "It's a
tough loss. It's not frustrating because we still have a lot of games on the
schedule. You can't get frustrated about one game, because that frustration
ends up snowballing."
Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton got the day off until a pinch-hitting role in
the eighth inning and had his 16-game hitting streak come to an end. Hamilton
went 0-for-2 and was riding the longest hit streak of his career since a 23-
game run back in June 2010.
"It allows you to be stress-free for a few innings," Hamilton said. "Not
really having to think about the game, but just out there supporting your
teammates and encouraging them. If we have a day off, about the sixth inning,
I'm still getting ready. In about the sixth inning, I went to the cage, and I
was ready to go."
Washington's club, which will visit Seattle as well on this road trip, is
scheduled to send Neftali Feliz to the mound Friday. Feliz has won two
straight starts and is 3-1 with a 3.32 ERA in seven games (6 starts) this
season. He last toed the rubber in a 13-6 win over the LA Angels on Sunday, as
he held the Halos to a pair of runs and four hits in six innings.
Feliz is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in six relief appearances against the Astros.
Houston will resume an eight-game homestand tonight and swept Milwaukee in two
games to kick off the residency. In Thursday's 4-0 victory, starting pitcher
J.A. Happ evened his 2012 mark at 3-3 with six shutout innings, four
strikeouts and one walk.
"I'm just trying to be aggressive and throw strikes," said Happ. "With the
pitches that I miss and that they get on, the guys behind me do a great job."
Jed Lowrie hit a two-run homer and both Chris Snyder and Jordan Schafer added
RBI singles for the Astros, whose two-game winning streak comes on the heels
of a four-game slide.
The Astros are slated to host the NL Central-rival Cubs on the homestand and
hope Wandy Rodriguez can pitch the ballclub past Texas tonight. Rodriguez
hopes to follow up Happ's performance with a stellar showing of his own. Since
a personal three-game win streak from April 22-May 2, Rodriguez is 0-1 in two
trips to the mound and did not record a decision in a 3-2 loss at Pittsburgh
on Sunday. He threw eight innings of one-run ball, struck out seven batters
and issued one walk.
Rodriguez is 3-3 in eight starts to go along with a 1.99 earned run average
this season, and is 4-2 with a 5.13 ERA in six career starts against Texas.
Houston will don its 1965 uniforms for tonight's series opener with the
Rangers. Former Astros legend and current Rangers president Nolan Ryan will
throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Texas owns a 135-131 mark in interleague play and Houston is 107-123 against
the American League.
05/18 10:50:18 ET