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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, July 25 (All times eastern)

Oakland Athletics (63-38) at Texas Rangers (40-62), 8:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Jason Hammel (8-7, 3.35) Texas - Jerome Williams (1-4, 6.04)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers welcome the major league-leading Oakland Athletics to Globe Life Park in Arlington on Friday night for the opener of a three-game set between American League West foes.

Oakland's 63-38 record is the best in baseball, although the second-place Angels are just three games back. The A's are back on the road after winning consecutive home series this week against Baltimore and Houston.

Oakland's offense was firing on all cylinders during Thursday's 13-1 rout over the Astros. The A's out-hit Houston 14-6, and Brandon Moss belted his third grand slam of the season in the sixth inning to break open the game. Starter Jeff Samardzija went eight innings and yielded only a solo home run and five hits, while he struck out six and walked nobody.

The Rangers are at the bottom of the division standings at 40-62, with 23 1/2 games separating them from the A's. Most troubling, they have lost eight straight in Arlington for the first time since a nine-game slide during the 1990 season.

Texas is returning home from a 2-5 road trip against the Yankees and Blue Jays. The Rangers are coming off Thursday's 4-2 loss, their third straight to the Yanks. The offense mustered only five hits for the game, while starter Colby Lewis was dealt the loss as he allowed three runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings.

The Rangers will call up newly acquired Jerome Williams from Triple-A to start the series opener. The right-hander is slotting into the rotation in place of Nick Tepesch, who was scratched for precautionary reasons after making a relief appearance on Tuesday. Williams was released by the Houston Astros earlier this month after posting a 6.04 ERA in 26 relief appearances.

"We signed him, he's ready to go. We'll take a look at him (Friday) and see if he can help us,'' manager Ron Washington said following Thursday's loss. "I know Jerome Williams, faced him enough times to know what he's capable of. When he's right, he can sink the ball pretty good. He can run it in on right- handers and has got a good breaking ball. So we'll see what he has to offer."

Jason Hammel has had a shaky start to his Athletics career since being traded from the Chicago Cubs along with Samardzija on July 4. Hammel was 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA at the time of the trade, but he has lost his first two starts with Oakland while turning in a 9.00 ERA. He lasted a season-low two innings against Baltimore on Saturday, as he was tagged for five runs on six hits to go along with a pair of walks.

After averaging less than two walks per nine innings in 17 starts with the Cubs, Hammel has walked five in just seven innings with the A's.

"I'm just not pitching like myself right now. I need to get back into what I do well, and that's fastball command and harnessing the slider," Hammel said after his last start. "This is one I have to go home and forget. I'll come back ... and go back to work."

The A's swept a three-game set against the Rangers in Oakland from April 21-23 and have won five of the last six head-to-head meetings.

07/25 11:07:28 ET

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 1
BOS 2
Final
DUKE 66
GONZ 52
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
BOS
 
Final
PHI 4
DET 4
Final
WAS 11
MIA 7
Final
BAL 5
MIN 6
Final
STL 2
NYM 3
Final
HOU 0
NYY 7
Final
ATL 2
PIT 4
Final
BOS 3
TAM 2
Final
TOR 2
BAL 4
Final
ANA 6
CIN 8
Final
KAN 0
CHC 7
Final
CLE 1
CWS 4
Final
SFG 11
LOS 9
Final
OAK 7
MIL 0
Final
SDP 8
SEA 5
Final
LOS 10
TEX 5
Final
COL 2
ARI 1
Final
ARI 10
COL 11
1:05pm Today
DET
ATL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
STL
WAS
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
MIA
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
COL
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
KAN
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
ANA
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
LOS
 
6:05pm Tonight
HOU
TOR
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
Final
WAS 91
HOU 99
Final
BRK 107
LAL 99
Final
NOP 110
MIN 88
Final
CLE 87
PHI 86
Final
MIA 109
DET 102
Final
BOS 106
LAC 119
Final
IND 104
DAL 99
Final
SAN 103
MEM 89
Final
PHO 97
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
LAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
HOU
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
MIL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
PHO
 
Final
LOU 70
MSU 76
Final
DUKE 66
GONZ 52
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
LAMON
 
Final
NYR 2
WAS 5
Final
CAR 1
BOS 2
Final
NAS 2
CAL 5
Final
NYI 5
DET 4
Final
OTT 2
FLA 4
Final
NJD 1
ANA 2
Final
WIN 3
CHI 4
Final
PIT 3
SJS 2
7:30pm Tonight
MON
TAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
VAN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
CAL
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
LOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
EDM
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
BUF