Major League Baseball
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American League Preview from The Sports Network

Tuesday, May 22nd (All times Eastern)

Texas Rangers (26-17) at Seattle Mariners (20-24), 10:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Matt Harrison (4-3, 5.21) Seattle - Hector Noesi (2-4, 5.61)

(Sports Network) - Matt Harrison has had a tough go of it as of late since his strong beginning to the season. He's probably pretty glad to see the rival Mariners.

The Texas Rangers turn to Harrison tonight as they continue a three-game series with hosting Seattle, which tries tonight for a season-high fifth straight victory.

Harrison won each of his first three starts with a 1.66 earned run average, but has managed to go just 1-3 over his past five outings with an 8.10 ERA. He lost to the Angels on May 12, allowing four runs over six innings, and then did not factor into the decision of his club's 5-4 setback to the Athletics on Thursday. The left-hander yielded three runs on eight hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings of work, giving him a 4-3 record and 5.21 ERA on his eight outings.

The 26-year-old should be glad to see the Mariners, who he beat four times in as many starts last year while posting a 1.98 ERA and 20 strikeouts over 27 1/3 innings. Harrison is 6-1 versus them lifetime with a 2.67 ERA in 13 games (9 starts).

Texas as a whole has begun to mirror Harrison's season. The Rangers opened the season with a 17-6 record, but have lost 11 of 20 in May and failed last night to win back-to-back games for the first time since May 10-11 with a 6-1 loss.

Felix Hernandez shut down Texas' feared lineup, hurling eight innings of one- run ball while scattering six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

"It's not easy against this lineup," said Hernandez. "(I was) just making good adjustments, the ball was down in the zone, I was pounding the strike zone and the sinker was pretty good."

Ichiro Suzuki and Jesus Montero knocked in two runs apiece and Dustin Ackley also plated a run as the Mariners won their season high-tying fourth straight contest. A victory tonight would be their longest since a six-game run from May 18-23 of last year.

Yu Darvish allowed five runs -- four earned -- on just four hits, but walked a career-high six batters over four full frames, marking the shortest outing of his brief major league career with the Rangers.

"He had good velocity. He just didn't throw the ball in the strike zone. It's one loss, we'll move on," Rangers manager Ron Washington said about Darvish. "You just need to take it, move on and learn what you can."

Mitch Moreland provided the offense with his solo blast in the eighth for Texas, which now holds just a four-game lead over Oakland for first place in the American League West. Seattle is 6 1/2 games off the pace.

The Mariners will start Hector Noesi, who made his debut with the club on April 9 against the Rangers after coming over as part of a trade that sent Michael Pineda to the Yankees.

Noesi struggled in that outing, getting hammered for seven runs on six hits over three-plus innings while failing to hold a 5-2 lead. He served up a three-run homer to Nelson Cruz and a two-run shot to Moreland in taking an 11-5 defeat.

The 25-year-old righty, though, allowed one run or less for the third time in his eight starts on Thursday in Cleveland. Though he did not get a decision in Seattle's 6-5 loss, Noesi was charged with just one run on five hits and three walks over 6 1/3 frames while fanning five.

He has a 2-4 record and 5.61 ERA on the season.

The Rangers won three of four at home versus the Mariners from April 9-12 and are 19-6 in the past 25 encounters. They won seven of 10 in Seattle last year.

05/22 11:14:34 ET