The Texas Rangers’ Michael Young(notes) is off to one of the best starts of his career. Facing Oakland Athletics left-hander Gio Gonzalez(notes) could make it difficult for Young to begin May in stellar fashion.
Seeking to rebound from a pair of subpar outings, Gonzalez will try to continue his recent success against the defending AL champions Sunday.
Young went 2 for 5 with his first homer of the season Saturday in an 11-2 victory over the A’s, and finished April with 38 hits to tie his career high set in 2006. He also matched a team record with 12 doubles and set another personal mark with 19 RBIs.
Texas, which had 14 hits Saturday, won for just the second time in six games and snapped a three-game road losing streak. The previous night, the Rangers (16-11) had 11 hits but lost 3-1 in the opener of the four-game set.
“I think we wanted to come in and have a better approach team-wise and we were able to do that today,” said Young, who raised his average to .342. “Without getting into specifics, we wanted to break down our fundamentals, make sure we were attacking pitches in the zone, having a game plan when you go to the plate and staying with it.”
Gonzalez (2-2, 2.70 ERA) will try to help Oakland bounce back with its third win in four games and fifth in seven home contests. He needs to put forth a better performance than in his last two starts.
After winning a career-high 15 games in 2010, Gonzalez started this season 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA but has a 6.55 ERA in consecutive defeats. He gave up a season-high five runs over five innings in a 5-0 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.
“Gio got his ground balls, but they hit some balls hard and strung some hits together,” catcher Kurt Suzuki(notes) said. “Gio’s tough to hit against, so when a team scores runs off him, it’s a credit to them.”
Gonzalez might have better luck against the Rangers, as he’s 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his past four matchups. Young is 3 for 16 (.188) against him, but other current Rangers have fared a little better.
The left-hander didn’t make it past the third inning and gave up seven runs in a 10-3 loss to Toronto on Tuesday.
“It was a night I want to forget,” Harrison said. “They came out swinging the bat, then I kind of got out of my game, walked a few guys and made it worse than it should have been.”
Harrison, though, had a 1.88 ERA over his previous four starts, and has won his past three against Oakland (13-14) while posting a 1.35 ERA.
He might get help from a more normal routine. Harrison will pitch on a starter’s usual four-days’ rest for the second time this season.
In his only other such start, he gave up three runs and four hits over 6 2-3 innings to the Angels on April 20, suffering the loss in a 4-1 defeat.