There was a very tragic event last night in the opener against the Oakland Athletics at the Texas Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and our prayers still go out to the entire family, friends and anyone who knew Shannon Stone. Due to this incident last night, I cannot be certain if Josh Hamilton will be in tonight’s lineup as he was pretty tore about the whole tragedy.
The Rangers will look to increase their winning streak to five games as they enter their second game of four at the Ballpark in Arlington against the Oakland Athletics. With last night’s triumph over the A’s, which was also the third career shutout for Rangers’ starting pitcher Derek Holland, who was able to execute his pitches and was in proper form, and the Angels loss yesterday afternoon, the Rangers are now back in sole possession of first place in the AL West. In addition, they currently rank second overall in batting average (.441) as well as third overall in both slugging percentage (.443) and runs scored (440). They are sixth overall in on base percentage (.331).
Both teams will be featuring a 2011 All-Star on the mound tonight…
LHP C. J. Wilson, who was named an All-Star for this year, will start on the hill tonight. Wilson is 8-3 on the year with a 3.02 ERA with 109 total strikeouts for the year. Over his previous eight starts, he has gone 4-0. Last time out, he allowed two runs on five hits over 7.1 innings and even struck out nine but the Rangers still lost to the Marlins thanks to a struggling defense and bullpen. Against Oakland this year, the 30-year-old lefty has permitted eight runs on 11 hits over 14 innings while posting a 4.50 ERA.
Opposing Wilson will be fellow All-Star of LHP Gio Gonzalez, who is 8-5 on the year with a 2.31 ERA and trails Wilson by three strikeouts for the season. He has three wins in his previous four outings and has performed very well. Last time out, the 25-year-old lefty allowed just one hit in seven innings and allowed no runs in the outing before that against the Marlins over eight innings. In his previous five outings, he has permitted two or fewer runs on four of those starts. Against Texas this year, Gonzalez has permitted two runs on five hits over 6.2 innings while posting a 2.70 ERA.
Pitchers vs. Hitters
LHP C.J. Wilson: None of the A’s have secured more three hits off Wilson. Josh Willingham is 3-for-7 with one homer and four RBIs and is the only one to have accomplished so much against the Rangers lefty. Ryan Sweeney is 2-for-3 and Conor Jackson is 2-for-5 while Hideki Matsui is 2-for-13. Coco Crisp, Kurt Suzuki and Cliff Pennington are a combined 3-for-32.
LHP Gio Gonzalez: Adrian Beltre is 7-for-16 with two homers and seven RBIs and Michael Young is 4-for-19 one homer and two RBIs. Mitch Moreland, who bounced back last night, is 1-for-2 against Oaklands’ primary left-hander. Ian Kinsler is 4-for-11 with one RBI, Josh Hamilton is 5-for-14 with two home runs and four RBIs and Elvis Andrus is 4-for-15. The Rangers who has struggled significantly against Gonzalez is Nelson Cruz, who hasn’t safely hit in nine at-bats.