Diamondbacks-Rangers Preview

The Associated Press

A return to Arlington helped the Texas Rangers find their hitting stroke.

The Arizona Diamondbacks may be more concerned about the AL West leaders giving the ball to Matt Harrison on Wednesday night.

The left-hander will try to win a career-best fifth consecutive start and lead Texas to a seventh straight home victory over Arizona.

After hitting .251 and averaging 3.1 runs on their 4-6 trip, the Rangers (36-26) pounded out 16 hits - three apiece from Ian Kinsler and David Murphy - in Tuesday's 9-1 victory that ended Arizona's season-best five-game winning streak.

It was a great start for a Rangers team opening a stretch of 16 of 19 in Arlington.

"We love to play at home," Kinsler said. "I thought we came out and swung the bats well."

Texas will try to win its third in a row overall with Harrison (8-3, 3.87 ERA) looking to build on his third career shutout - Friday's 5-0 victory over San Francisco. The left-hander did not walk a batter, allowed five hits and lowered his ERA to 1.76 during a four-start winning streak.

"It was easy," Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba told the team's official website. "Whatever I put down, he was able to throw for strikes. He was really sharp."

Harrison didn't have that kind of stuff in his lone career start against the Diamondbacks, walking four and getting tagged for seven runs in 3 2-3 innings of an 8-2 road loss June 23, 2009.

Tuesday's defeat dropped Arizona (30-21) to 2-24 when it scores three runs or fewer, but Wednesday's scheduled starter Wade Miley (7-2, 2.53) has a 6.65 run-support average - second-best in the NL.

The rookie left-hander didn't need much of a cushion in his last start, a 6-1 victory over Colorado last Wednesday when he lasted a career-best eight innings.

"He was outstanding,'' manager Kirk Gibson said of Miley, who is 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA in five road starts. "He was really efficient."

With the designated hitter used in AL parks, Miley will only be able to make his impact from the mound as he faces the Rangers for the first time. He is the NL's top hitting pitcher at .391 (9 for 23) after his seven-game hitting streak ended against the Rockies.

Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt will try to start a new hitting streak after his career-high 17-game run ended Tuesday.

Second baseman Aaron Hill, who ended Colby Lewis' bid for a perfect game in the series opener with a sixth-inning single, is batting .462 (12 for 26) while hitting safely in seven straight.

Diamondbacks shortstop Willie Bloomquist is hitting .402 (33 for 82) in his last 18 games. He's 2 for 5 with three walks off Harrison.

Murphy could get another start in right field after Nelson Cruz was sent home from the ballpark Tuesday with a virus. Murphy has a team-best three homers with six RBIs in six interleague games this season after hitting a two-run shot in the series opener.

Arizona had the majors' best interleague record (5-1) heading into this series, but has dropped six straight in Arlington since a 5-4 victory June 2, 2000.

Texas will try to improve to 2-0 at home against NL opponents in 2012 after playing its first six interleague games on the road.

What to Read Next