Twins-Rangers Preview

The Associated Press

The Texas Rangers signed Roy Oswalt to add depth to their starting rotation, but he still seems to be shaking off some rust.

Coming off one of the worst outings of his career, Oswalt looks to get on track when Texas hosts the Minnesota Twins in the finale of a three-game set Sunday night.

The Rangers inked Oswalt to a one-year deal after the veteran sat out the first part of the season recovering from back problems. He allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings of a win over Colorado in his first start June 22, but he's struggled in his last two.

Oswalt (2-1, 7.79 ERA) gave up five runs and a career-high 13 hits in six innings of a 13-9 win over Detroit on June 27, then got roughed up for 13 hits again while allowing a career-worst 11 runs in 4 2-3 innings of Tuesday's 19-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

"If you lose 1-0 or 10-0, you still lose,'' Oswalt said. "Don't really look at it that much.''

The right-hander is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in three career starts versus the Twins, though he hasn't faced them since 2009.

The AL West-leading Rangers (51-34) snapped a season-worst five-game losing streak with a 4-3, 10-inning victory Saturday. Nelson Cruz's game-ending double drove in Adrian Beltre, who also hit a solo homer in the sixth. Cruz and Beltre each finished 3 for 5.

Texas, which hit .209 while being outscored 34-9 during its skid, also got a home run from Josh Hamilton, whose status was in doubt after leaving Friday's contest early with back spasms but returned to the lineup as the designated hitter.

"We were due to finally put together something offensively," manager Ron Washington said. "We kept swinging and kept getting runners out there. We just weren't able to get as many in as we would have liked, but we got the one in that was important.''

Minnesota (36-48) had won six of eight prior to Saturday's defeat. Josh Willingham hit his 19th homer in the sixth to give the Twins a short-lived lead before Beltre tied the game with his blast.

Four of Willingham's seven hits over his last eight games have been home runs.

Former Twins closer Joe Nathan pitched two scoreless innings for the Rangers to earn the victory.

"He's pretty good -- that's all you have to say about him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told his team's official website. "Nathan is used to those situations. He's a big-time pitcher."

The Twins will look to bounce back with the help of Cole De Vries, who jumps back into the starting rotation after making one relief appearance.

De Vries (2-1, 3.91) went 2-1 with a 3.43 ERA in four starts before allowing two runs over two innings of relief in Wednesday's 5-1 loss to Detroit. He is 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two home starts, and gave up one run in six innings of a 5-1 win over Kansas City in his most recent start June 30.

The rookie right-hander likely will continue to occupy a spot in the rotation after the struggling Nick Blackburn was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday.

What to Read Next