American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, April 11th
(All times Eastern)
Houston Astros (4-6) at Texas Rangers (4-5), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Scott Feldman (2-0, 0.66)
Texas - Yu Darvish (1-0, 0.00)
(SportsNetwork.com) - No team battered the Houston Astros in 2013 more than
the Texas Rangers. The Astros try to reverse their luck on Friday when the
Lone Star State rivals start a three-game series at Globe Life Park.
Houston lost 111 games a year ago and 17 of those setbacks came to the Rangers
who have won 11 straight in this series and are 36-7 against them since the
start of the 2009 campaign.
Texas has also won the last 14 individual series in the matchup.
"They're a better team," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "They are another
year older and they've got a real good leader in Bo Porter. The mistakes they
might have made last year, they won't make as many this season. They will be
able to hold on to games more than last year. They lost a lot of ballgames in
the seventh inning on. I think they will be able to hold on to those leads
because they've added some experience in the bullpen.
"They are not going to be anybody's doormat. You've got to bring your best
Houston's struggles against the Rangers may continue on Friday, as it goes up
against right-hander Yu Darvish, who came within an out of throwing a perfect
game against the Astros a year ago. Overall, he is 4-1 with a 2.72 ERA in six
starts against them.
After starting the season on the disabled list with stiffness in his neck and
having not pitched since March 16, Darvish was victorious in his season debut
on Sunday against Tampa Bay, as he limited the Rays to just seven hits over
seven scoreless innings.
"If I can have three weeks off between starts, I could pitch like this every
time." Darvish said.
This will be Darvish's first start at home this season. Over the past two
seasons, he is 17-8 with a 3.20 ERA in 33 starts in Arlington.
"I am looking forward to pitching in my home stadium and looking forward to a
stadium that has mostly Rangers fans," Darvish said.
Houston, meanwhile, will counter with an impressive hurler of its own in
righty Scott Feldman, who is 2-0 this season with a 0.66 ERA. After dominating
the New York Yankees on Opening Day, Feldman kept the Los Angeles Angels of
Anaheim at bay on Sunday, holding them to a run and three hits over seven
"I didn't have the greatest command of my pitches, but the curveball was there
for me for the most part for most of the game, so that helped a lot," Feldman
said. "As the game went on, I didn't have best command of my other stuff, so I
needed to get strike one somehow. If I threw a knuckleball, I probably would
have thrown that up there, too."
Feldman won't have to deal with Texas slugger Adrian Beltre, who is sidelined
with a mild left quadriceps strain.
04/11 10:25:15 ET