Pittsburgh (25-46) at Texas (43-28)

Sunny Currently: Arlington, TX
Temp: 66° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Thu Jun 24, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With or without hot-hitting Josh Hamilton(notes) in the lineup, the Texas Rangers continue to win.

After receiving a rare day off, the Rangers’ slugger should be back to help his team try for an 11th straight victory Thursday night against the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates, seeking to avoid a 14th consecutive road loss.

Riding a career-best 17-game hitting streak and batting .339 on the season, Hamilton requested Wednesday night off after appearing in 31 straight games. Texas (43-28) didn’t miss him, matching a season high for runs in a 13-3 win over Pittsburgh.

Batting .485 during his streak, Hamilton will back in the lineup as the AL West-leading Rangers try to extend the majors’ longest winning streak of the season. Texas hasn’t won 11 in a row since a team-record 14-game run in 1991.

“He’s human,” manager Ron Washington told the Rangers’ official website of Hamilton. “We think that whoever is in that lineup, that’s who we’re going to go out there and play with.”

Michael Young(notes) hit his 10th homer and drove in four runs while Nelson Cruz(notes) added three RBIs in Wednesday’s win. The Rangers have scored 64 runs during their winning streak.

“That’s a hot-hitting team and they took advantage,” said Pirates manager John Russell, whose team has lost 20 of 25 and owns the NL’s worst record.

Young is 4 for 7 with two homers and five RBIs in the series.

“That’s Michael,” shortstop Elvis Andrus(notes) said after getting three hits Wednesday to snap out of a 3-for-33 slump.

Scott Feldman(notes) (5-6, 5.16 ERA) looks for a third straight victory when he takes the ball Thursday for Texas.

The right-hander allowed three runs in seven innings of a 9-3 win at Houston on Friday - his third consecutive outing allowing three earned runs or fewer after giving up four or more in each of his previous six outings. Those are the only runs he’s given up in 13 innings over his last two starts.

“It’s about feeling comfortable on the mound and not feeling for my mechanics,” Feldman said. “Hopefully, it will continue to improve.”

Feldman is 3-2 with a 4.10 ERA in nine career interleague starts. None were against Pittsburgh, but he allowed one run in 1 2-3 innings of relief versus the Pirates in 2007.

The Pirates (25-46), who haven’t won on the road since May 25 at Cincinnati, have not dropped 14 straight away from home since a 19-game skid July 23-Aug. 30, 1985.

Garrett Jones(notes) went 0 for 3 to snap his 12-game hitting streak Wednesday as the Pirates dropped to 2-9 in interleague play and 0-5 all-time at Texas. Jones is still hitting .396 in his last 13 games.

Pittsburgh starter Jeff Karstens(notes) (2-2, 4.72) will face the Rangers for the first time.

The right-hander allowed four runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-4 win over Cleveland on Saturday to help the Pirates snap a 12-game overall losing streak. He improved to 1-0 with a 4.58 ERA in three career interleague starts.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Karstens PIT vs. S. Feldman HOU
3-10 Record 7-11
4.92 ERA 5.48
72 K 75
27 BB 45
1.41 WHIP 1.60


Thursday, Jun 24