Florida Marlins (36-46) at Texas Rangers (44-39) Game 2 of 3 Preview (7:05 pm CT)

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The Rangers may have allowed the Marlins to get three runs in the ninth inning after having held them to two runs through the other eight innings, but their offense was so freaking in tune last night that they had nothing at all to worry about. With a six-run eighth inning, the Rangers were up by 13 runs – the score was 15-2 heading into the top of the ninth. It was a great game and I was so happy that Alexi Ogando was finally back in his groove – he may just get to keep his spot in the rotation after his solid performance last night.

Tonight, the Rangers will host the Florida Marlins for the second of three games at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Over the previous two seasons, the Rangers have dominated the Marlins going 5-0. Josh Hamilton has always been great against the Marlins but now we can that all the Rangers are doing well. Each and every Ranger last night had their fair share of some type of awesome performance.

It’s funny – this is what Florida Marlins Manager Jack McKeen had to say about the Rangers:

This is a hitting club over there. You can’t mess around with them.

You damn straight! If you want to read more about last night’s game, check out Jonathan’s recap as we are moving on to pitching matchups and pitchers vs. hitters details for tonight’s game after the jump.

Pitching Matchups

LHP Derek Holland starts for Texas tonight. Holland has gone 6-3 this year with a 4.68 ERA. Holland’s performance hasn’t been his strongest as of late. In four of his previous five starts, Holland has allowed three or more earned runs. Last time out against the Mets, he allowed seven runs on 12 hits over six innings without even striking out a batter, but never did walk one. The24-year-old’s prior outing was just three on six over 7.1 innings getting him the win for the game and he achieved four strikeouts but also recorded three walks. June 4, he had a five-hit complete game shutout and he’ll be looking to get back to that kind of Derek Holland pitching tonight.

The Marlins will counter with LHP Brad Hand. Hand is 0-3 with a 3.45 ERA. He has only pitched three games so far this season – all of which were obviously losses. The young 21-year-old started on June 7 against Atlanta and only allowed one run on one hit over six innings striking out six but seeing as how his offense backed him up with no runs, he took the loss. His next outing wasn’t so great, though, as he pitched five innings permitting four runs on five hits. His last time out, he allowed three runs on three hits over 4.2 innings. In all three of these starts for Hand, the Marlins offense has backed him up with one or no runs. He has given up four homers, nine walks and 10 strikeouts over 15.2 innings. He’ll need to get his pitches under control – as well as maybe his nerves? – if he has any intention on taking on the hard-hitting Rangers.

Pitchers vs. Hitters

LHP Derek Holland: The offense has never backed Hand up his three starts this season and only two of the Marlins have faced Holland before. John Buck is 2-for-4 with one RBI and one strikeout while Jose Lopez is 2-for-9 with one double, one RBI and one strikeout.

LHP Brad Hand: While the Rangers have never faced Hand, this lefty definitely has his hands full with this impeccable, sizzling hot offense. The entire lineup is hot right now!

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