American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, September 22nd
(All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (84-70) at Kansas City Royals (81-73), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Alexi Ogando (7-4, 3.15)
Kansas City - James Shields (12-9, 3.33)
(Sports Network) - All was calm in Arlington for at least one night.
Alexi Ogando will try to prevent panic from returning to Texas again on Sunday
afternoon when the Rangers conclude a three-game set with the Kansas City
Royals in a meeting of playoff hopefuls.
The Rangers lost for the 14th time in 18 games when they dropped Friday's
opener, falling a half-game behind the Cleveland Indians for the second wild
card spot. However, they avoided falling further back with last night's 3-1
win, as the Tribe remained ahead with their victory over Houston.
Kansas City is 3 1/2 games behind Cleveland.
Tampa Bay, which holds the first wild card spot, also won on Saturday and the
Rangers remained a game back of the Rays.
Matt Garza, who has mirrored Texas' struggles, hurled eight-plus innings to
get his first win since Aug. 19. He took a shutout into the ninth before
giving up a leadoff homer to Eric Hosmer.
"He was really good. He was really pounding the strike zone," Kansas City
manager Ned Yost said of Garza.
Garza fanned five and gave up five hits. He was 0-3 with an 8.22 earned run
average in three prior starts this month.
"You're the one who has to wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the
mirror. I wasn't happy with what I saw. I just got back to being comfortable,
back to being who was I was," Garza said.
Joe Nathan relieved Garza and struck out two to notch his 40th save. Elvis
Andrus and Alex Rios both drove in a run and scored once.
Jeremy Guthrie (14-12) allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks over six
innings for Kansas City, which ends its regular season by visiting Seattle and
then Chicago to battle the White Sox.
The Rangers will host Houston and the Los Angeles Angels to conclude their
Ogando is set to make his second start for Texas today since coming off the
disabled list earlier this month.
Ogando made four bullpen appearances after his return before getting the start
on Tuesday versus Tampa Bay. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk over
five innings to pick up the win in his first start since Aug. 13. The righty
was pulled after 69 pitches.
Ogando, 29, is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in eight career meetings with the Royals,
three of those starts.
James Shields takes aim at his 100th career victory today when he goes for the
The right-hander has won six of his last seven decisions and picked up his
second straight winning start on Monday versus Cleveland. Shields struck out a
season-high 10 batters over six innings of one-run ball, scattering six hits
and a pair of walks.
Shields moved to 12-9 with a 3.33 ERA in 32 starts this season. The 31-year-
old is 7-3 lifetime versus the Rangers with a 2.66 ERA in 12 meetings.
The Rangers took two of three from the Royals at home on May 31-June 2 and
have won eight of the last 12 meetings. They went 5-2 in Kansas City last
09/22 10:32:43 ET