Oakland (65-78) at Texas (81-63)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Arlington, TX, US
Temp: 96° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Fri Sep 9, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

A weekend series with the Oakland Athletics might provide the ideal opportunity for the Texas Rangers to increase their lead in the AL West.

Coming off a .500 trip to Boston and Tampa, the Rangers return home looking for a ninth consecutive victory over the A’s on Friday night.

Texas (81-63) has gone 9-11 since winning six straight Aug. 12-17 and seen its lead over Los Angeles drop from seven games to 2 1/2. However, there’s a good chance the Rangers could increase their advantage with the Angels hosting AL East-leading New York this weekend and the A’s in town trying to avoid a sixth consecutive loss in Arlington.

“It’s a two-team race, and we have to keep racking up wins,” right fielder David Murphy(notes) told the Rangers’ official website.

The Rangers have outscored Oakland 53-21 while racking up eight straight wins in the series. Second baseman Ian Kinsler(notes) has hit .302 with eight RBIs during a 12-game hitting streak against the A’s (65-78).

Kinsler, who hit a pair of home runs in a 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Rays on Wednesday, has seven homers and 11 RBIs during his last seven contests.

“These games mean a lot, and the focus level needs to be turned up,” Kinsler said. “I want it to continue and just help my team any way I can.”

Adrian Beltre(notes) has batted .340 with nine RBIs during his 13-game hitting streak, but he’s 7 for 35 (.200) against the A’s this year, with four of the hits being homers.

Manager Ron Washington feels confident Colby Lewis(notes) (11-10, 4.32 ERA) can avoid a fourth straight subpar outing and continue his recent success versus Oakland when he tries to match a career high for wins Friday.

The right-hander has gone 0-2 with a 9.39 ERA in three starts since he allowed one run in 13 1-3 innings while going 1-0 in his previous two. Lewis gave up four runs and walked three in 3 1-3 innings of a 12-7 loss at Boston on Saturday.

“I’m not concerned,” Washington said. “He’s healthy. He just has to get the ball down.”

Lewis is 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA in four starts against the A’s in 2011.

Oakland counters with former Ranger Brandon McCarthy(notes) (8-7, 3.41), who tossed a three-hitter and struck out 10 in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Seattle.

“It kind of makes you feel like you’re on top of the world,” said McCarthy, who has a 1.82 ERA while winning two of his last three starts.

McCarthy spent the last four seasons with Texas, including all of 2010 recovering from shoulder surgery. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 5.28 ERA in three starts against his former team this year.

Oakland won for the fifth time in seven games as Guillermo Moscoso(notes) took a no-hitter into the eighth of Wednesday’s 7-0 victory over Kansas City. Rookie second baseman Jemile Weeks(notes) had four hits for the A’s, who have averaged 6.3 runs in seven September games.

Weeks, who has hit .387 (24 for 62) in his last 14 games, is 3 for 6 with a double and a triple against Lewis.

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Starting Pitchers

B. McCarthy LAD vs. C. Lewis TEX
9-9 Record 14-10
3.32 ERA 4.40
123 K 169
25 BB 56
1.13 WHIP 1.21


Friday, Sep 9