Texas (68-53) at Baltimore (43-80)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 67° F
  • Game info: 4:10 pm EDT Sat Aug 21, 2010
  • TV: FOX
Preview | Box Score | Recap

In a series marked by brilliant pitching performances by left-handed starters, it will be up to Cliff Lee(notes) to continue the trend Saturday afternoon.

The Texas Rangers’ ace hopes to rebound from a rocky outing and gain some revenge against the Baltimore Orioles, who roughed him up in his Rangers debut last month.

After Baltimore’s Brian Matusz(notes) opened this four-game set with eight strong innings in a 4-0 win on Thursday night, Texas’ C.J. Wilson(notes) was even better Friday, coming within one out of a three-hitter with 12 strikeouts in a 2-0 victory.

“It’s not about the strikeouts, it’s more about keeping them contained,” Wilson said. “If every single dude hits a groundball to the shortstop, we’re probably going to get them all out, so it doesn’t really matter.”

Wilson helped the Rangers (68-53) snap a four-game overall losing streak and a six-game road skid.

Texas acquired Lee (10-6, 2.77 ERA) from Seattle last month in hopes of solidifying its first AL West title since 1999, but the club has lost five of his eight starts while the left-hander has gone 2-3 with a 3.44 ERA.

The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth Monday at Tampa Bay, but gave up four runs and five hits in the inning, leading to Texas’ 6-4 loss.

“It was kind of a blur of an inning,” Lee said. “Things kind of fell apart. I don’t know why. It was a strange inning.”

Lee also allowed six runs against Baltimore on July 10 in his Rangers debut, pitching a complete game but surrendering homers to Nick Markakis(notes), Adam Jones(notes) and Cesar Izturis(notes) in a 6-1 loss.

Before that start, he had been 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA in five outings against the Orioles.

AL-worst Baltimore (43-80) has been blanked twice in four games, with Markakis, Jones and Ty Wigginton(notes) a combined 3 for 41 (.073) in that stretch. The Orioles have lost five of seven overall after a 9-2 start under former Rangers manager Buck Showalter, who replaced Juan Samuel on Aug. 3.

Showalter was ejected for the first time with his new team Friday night for arguing balls and strikes.

“There are so many pitches during the course of a game that can go either way. We understand that completely,” Showalter said. “We just want our share. That’s all.”

Showalter’s team has won each of the three times the manager has sent Brad Bergesen(notes) (4-9, 5.80) to the mound.

Bergesen lost five consecutive starts from July 2-26, but he’s 1-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his last four outings. He’s still searching for his first home win since May 12 against Seattle, a winless drought that has reached seven starts.

The right-hander faces a Texas lineup that has totaled four runs in its last four meetings with the Orioles. The Rangers had dropped five straight against Baltimore before Friday’s victory, and they’re 13-22 against AL East foes.

Offense has not always come easily this month for Texas, which has been held to two or fewer runs eight times in 17 August games. Vladimir Guerrero(notes) has one RBI in his last 13 games, going without a homer since July 31.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Lee Phi vs. B. Bergesen Ari
12-9 Record 8-12
3.18 ERA 4.98
185 K 81
18 BB 51
1.00 WHIP 1.44


Saturday, Aug 21