Texas (73-75) at Oakland (67-80)

Fair Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sat Sep 13, 2008
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Trying to finish with a winning record for the first time in four seasons, the Texas Rangers’ offense is doing its part.

The Rangers look to win their third straight and continue their success in Oakland this season when they continue a four-game series with the Athletics on Saturday.

With little more than pride to play for at this point in the season, Texas (73-75) is trying to finish strong and close the year with the franchise’s first winning record since 2004. The Rangers have won six of their last nine, including the first two games of this series with the Athletics (67-80).

Texas, averaging 7.3 runs in its last six games, improved to 6-2 at McAfee Coliseum this season with a 7-0 victory on Friday.

Hank Blalock and Taylor Teagarden each homered while rookie left-hander Matt Harrison pitched a five-hitter for his first shutout.

“He was the star. He stayed in command the whole night,” manager Ron Washington said. “He’s showing that he’s got something to work with.”

Entering this series, Oakland had won four of its previous five, averaging 6.4 runs. It has just nine hits so far in the series and is 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

The A’s are last in the majors in batting average (.240) and second-to-last in runs per game (3.9).

The Rangers hand the ball on Saturday to Scott Feldman (5-6, 5.05 ERA), who gets the call in place of Brandon McCarthy after his start was pushed back until Tuesday to give him some extra rest.

Feldman is making his first appearance since Aug. 30 when he allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings of a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. The right-hander is in his fourth major league season, but his first as a regular starter. He’s pitched 133 2-3 innings this season, and according to the Rangers’ official Web site, Saturday will likely be his final start.

“I feel good about him,” Washington told the Rangers’ official Web site on Friday. “He’s been one of our most dependable pitchers.”

Feldman is 1-1 with a 2.59 ERA in three starts and five relief appearances against the A’s. He is 1-1 with a 2.95 ERA in three starts against them this season.

Josh Outman (0-0, 6.23) will make his first major league start for the A’s. Outman has made two relief appearances since being called up from Triple-A Sacramento on Sept. 2, allowing three runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings.

The left-hander, a 10th-round draft pick by Philadelphia in 2005, was acquired from the Phillies in July as part of the deal for Joe Blanton.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Feldman Hou vs. J. Outman Cle
6-8 Record 1-2
5.29 ERA 4.56
74 K 19
56 BB 8
1.43 WHIP 1.64

Scoreboard

Saturday, Sep 13