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Matt Harrison (AP Photo)

Texas Rangers (22-19) at Chicago White Sox (17-25) Preview Game 2

Today will wrap the two game set at Chicago for the Rangers. Having momentum from yesterday’s win – which was a shutout for Colby Lewis – they should be able to pull off another win and take this series to make it two series wins in a row after losing five straight.

This game gave the Rangers four out of five wins but gave Chicago 10 out of 11 defeats at home.

The thing about Chicago is that they are experimenting with a six-man starting rotation so their pitchers have an extra day of rest than other teams. However, this doesn’t mean that their starting pitcher for tonight’s game is a good one because the Rangers will probably have this one in the bag if the game goes anything like it did last time…but that also means that the Rangers’ starting pitcher has to have his mind in the right place.

“It would have been nice to get the five (innings) in,” said tonight’s starting pitcher. “Just have to move on. I felt really good, glad I was able to go out there and throw the ball well, so I can carry that over into my next start.”

The Rangers are back in the possession of first place in the AL West after a 10-inning defeat last night for the Los Angeles Angels. The Rangers are now half a game ahead of the Angels.

Pitching Matchups

LHP Matt Harrison will take the mound for the Rangers. He started the season off very well (3-0 to be exact) but then found a hole in which he couldn’t get himself out of for several games. In fact, the 25-year-old got four straight decisions bringing his season record to 3-4 with a 4.35 ERA. On May 1, he only lasted 1.2 innings after allowing four runs on six hits. He pitched against the Yankees May 6 allowing three runs on four hits over six innings. However, his last time out, although it is unofficial because of the rain – he was back to the Matt Harrison that was pitching at the start of this season. He pitched four scoreless innings against the A’s and allowed just one hit and when the rain came in to cancel the game, the score was 7-0. Hopefully, he’ll pick up right where he left off in the last game and pull the Rangers through.

Harrison is 2-0 against the White Sox with five earned runs over 16.2 innings in three starts. He has 14 consecutive scoreless pitched innings against the White Sox and will look to continue that streak heading into tonight’s game. He has pitched at U.S. Cellular one time in his career and it was his last time out against the White Sox, which was in May of 2009. He pitched a complete shutout game allowing just four hits over the nine innings.

The White Sox will counter with RHP John Danks. This left-hander is 0-6 for the season with a 4.50 ERA. In the two starts in which he didn’t receive a decision, the White Sox still lost. He has lasted six innings at minimum in all of his eight starts this year except one. His last time out against the Angels, the 26-year-old Texas native was pulled after throwing five innings and allowing six runs on 10 hits. However, to stand up for Danks, his team has been nothing but supportive in terms of offensive runs. Five games, his team has only got two or fewer runs for him to work with.

Against Texas, Danks has five starts for his career and is 1-3 posting a 4.11 ERA allowing 14 earned runs over 30.2 pitched innings. His last start against Texas came in July of last year in which he got the loss after allowing two runs over six innings. His last start at home yielded him a no decision after allowing a single run over six innings in May 2009.

Pitchers vs. Hitters

LHP Matt Harrison: Alex Rios is 2-for-3 with one RBI, Mark Teahen is 3-for-5 with one homer and one RBI, Alexei Ramirez is 2-for-4 and Brent Lillibridge is 2-for-5. Carlos Quentin, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski are combined for 2-for-19.

LHP John Danks:
Elvis Andrus is 4-for-5 with two RBIs, Adrian Beltre is 6-for-21 with two homers and four RBIs, Ian Kinsler is 4-for-15 with one homer and two RBIs, Mike Napoli is 2-for-13 as is Michael Young, who has an RBI. The rest of the guys haven’t been able to get a hit off Danks in two-three at-bats except for Chris Davis who has six at-bats but still no hits.

My Prediction

While Danks could have a solid comeback tonight and Harrison could fall through and not be able to build off his last start, I think the Rangers will get this one. The offensive support of the Rangers is much higher than that of the White Sox and with Danks being so frustrated from his season so far and Harrison actually have built his confidence from his last time out, the Rangers are going to pound Danks for all he has despite not having the best batting averages against him, and will win 6-1.

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Tags: Adrian Beltre Chicago White Sox Elvis Andrus Ian Kinsler John Danks Matt Harrison Rangers Rangers At White Sox Texas Rangers White Sox

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