3:05 PM EDT
June 17, 2012
Houston Astros (27-38) at Texas Rangers (39-27), 3:05 p.m. (ET)
(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers will be trying to complete their fourth series sweep of the season this afternoon when they take on the Houston Astros in the finale of a three-game interleague series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
The Rangers got the win in the second game of the series on Saturday behind a gutsy performance from rookie Justin Grimm who made his major league debut in the game.
Grimm got a rough welcome to the big leagues when Jed Lowrie hit a solo home run in the first inning, but Grimm settled down until the fifth inning when he gave up a pair of runs. Grimm's final stat line was good enough to earn his first win, as he allowed three runs on six hits over six innings while striking out seven.
The Rangers' offense was kept quiet by Houston starter Lucas Harrell through the first five innings before exploding in the sixth inning.
Adrian Beltre led off the scoring in the sixth with a bases loaded single that scored a pair of runs. The next batter up was Nelson Cruz who launched the ball into the left field seats for a three-run home run, his ninth of the season.
Harrell was unable to get out of the sixth inning and was taken out after pitching 5 1/3 innings and allowing the five runs on seven hits.
The Rangers would add a pair of runs in the seventh and another in the eighth to take the 8-3 victory. Ian Kinsler was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored in the game as well for Texas.
Jordan Schafer went 3-for-4 in the game with an RBI for Houston which has lost four of its last five including a 6-2 loss in the opening game of the series on Friday night.
Coming off his second straight complete game, Colby Lewis will be making the start for the Rangers in the series finale.
Lewis pushed his record to an even 5-5 with a dominating performance against Arizona in his last time out. The right-hander finished off the entire nine innings allowing just one run on four hits while striking out seven.
In the start before that he took a loss in a 2-0 decision at Oakland despite pitching all eight innings.
The 32-year-old veteran has been the Rangers' most consistent pitcher so far this season. He leads all Texas starters with an ERA of 3.13 while also holding the team lead in innings pitched (89.0). He is second in strikeouts with 74 as well.
Lewis has excelled in his career against Houston. He is 3-1 with a 2.02 ERA in five career starts against the Astros and has already picked up a win against them this season when on May 20th he allowed one run on four hits over innings in a 6-1 Rangers victory.
For the second straight day a pitcher will be making his major league debut in this series, as 24-year-old lefty Dallas Keuchel takes the mound for the Astros. The former Arkansas Razorback was called up to take the spot of Bud Norris who is still recovering from a sprained knee.
Keuchel, a seventh round draft pick in 2009, has spent the 2012 season in Triple-A with the Oklahoma City RedHawks of the Pacific Coast League. He is 5-4 with a 4.26 ERA in 13 starts this season.
This is the second and final meeting of the season between these Lone Star State rivals. The Rangers took two of the first three back on May 18-20 at Minute Maid Park and have now won 18 of the last 23 matchups dating back to 2009.