Harrison, Haren square off in Rangers-Angels finale
(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will meet in the rubber game of a weekend series on Sunday night at Angel Stadium.
The Rangers will send Matt Harrison to the mound, who is second in the American League with 12 wins and boasts an impressive 2.87 ERA.
As great as Harrison's season has been, he's currently on his best stretch, going 8-1 with a 1.34 ERA in his last ten starts, including a shutout in his last start against the Mariners on July 15, his second of the season.
"He went out there in the seventh, eighth and ninth and did what you're supposed to do as a very good pitcher when your team has the lead," Texas manager Ron Washington said of Harrison's last performance. "(Harrison) wants to have the ball and we had discussions a couple of months ago. If you want to finish ballgames, get outs in the seventh, eighth, and ninth."
Despite his great season, the southpaw has been merely average against the rival Angels this year, going 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA in two starts.
Los Angeles will get Dan Haren back to the rotation tonight as he is set to come off a disabled list stint caused by lower back stiffness. He'll start this finale for the first time since July 3, when he was tagged for six earned runs over just 4 1/3 innings of a loss at the Cleveland Indians.
A 16-game winner last season, the right-handed Haren is just 6-8 with a 4.86 ERA through 17 starts this season. That includes a loss at home to the Rangers on June 3 as he gave up two runs in five frames.
Haren, 31, is 4-9 with a 4.17 ERA in 18 career meetings with Texas.
After dropping Friday night's game, the Rangers evened the series up on Saturday afternoon by trouncing the Halos, 9-2.
Yu Darvish (11-6) pitched seven strong innings, allowing just three hits and two earned runs. His control issues continued - he walked four on the day - though he offset his wildness with 11 strikeouts, which tied a career-high.
"Some of the problems I've been having in the first innings, I paid particular attention to," Darvish said through a translator. "Beating a very good offensive team like the Angels naturally gives you confidence."
Ervin Santana (4-10) saw his dismal season continue, as he lasted just 1 2/3 innings while allowing eight hits and six earned runs. The veteran right- hander's ERA is now sitting at 6.00.
The majority of the Rangers' damage came in a five-run top of the second inning, which featured home runs from Mike Napoli, Yorvit Torrealba, and Adrian Beltre.
Napoli added another homer in the third inning, his 14th of the year. Ian Kinsler finished 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI out of the leadoff spot.
Mike Trout went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored for the Angels, and in the process set the AL record for most consecutive games with a run scored by a rookie with 13.
Texas has won 12 of the past 18 meetings between the teams, including eight of 12 encounters in Anaheim over that stretch. Since the 2009 campaign, the Rangers lead the series by a 37-28 count.