Series: Game 4 of 4

Texas won 4-0

Game 1: Friday, August 9
Game 2: Saturday, August 10
Game 3: Sunday, August 11
Game 4: Monday, August 12

Rangers 2

(69-50, 36-26 away)

Astros 1

(37-80, 19-43 home)

    2:10 PM ET, August 12, 2013

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    TEX 200000000 2 9 0
    HOU 000000010 1 1 1

    W: Y. Darvish (12-5)

    L: B. Oberholtzer (2-1)

    S: J. Nathan (35)

    Rangers-Astros Preview


    Alex Rios has so far given the surging Texas Rangers what they were hoping for. He'll next try to help the AL West leaders keep rolling while ending Brett Oberholtzer's string of impressive starts.

    The Houston Astros' rookie left-hander seeks his third straight scoreless outing in a bid to snap the Rangers' seven-game win streak in Monday's series finale.

    Rios was brought over in a waiver deal from the Chicago White Sox on Friday and has gone 4 for 7 with two extra-base hits and two RBIs in his first two games with Texas (68-50). That's helped the Rangers win 12 of 13 and surge one game ahead of Oakland in the division.

    Texas has welcomed Rios' instant impact after losing slugger Nelson Cruz to a 50-game drug suspension last Monday.

    While trying to maintain their lead, the Rangers will seek to match their season-high, eight-game win streak from April 12-21, 2012. They haven't won eight in a row on the road in a single season since June 12-20, 2010, and have never swept a four-game series over the Astros (37-79).

    "Ride the wave," second baseman Ian Kinsler told the team's website. "Just play hard every day and come to win. That's it. ... The confidence level everyone on the club, we all understand it's not one person, it's a collective group. It seems like we have a chance to score every inning. That's comforting."

    Houston is seeking to avoid its first six-game home losing streak since dropping eight straight Aug. 12-31, 2012.

    "We've been in position to win ballgames, but this is major league baseball," manager Bo Porter said. "Nobody is walking away feeling like it's a moral victory. I don't believe in moral victories, in the first place."

    Oberholtzer (2-0, 2.53 ERA) will try to boost his club while extending a 16-inning scoreless streak and earning his third win in as many major league starts.

    The left-hander is the first Astros player with at least 14 scoreless innings in his first two starts and the first major leaguer to toss seven or more scoreless frames in his first two since Philadelphia's Marty Bystrom in 1980.

    Oberholtzer gave up four hits and two walks in his most recent outing, a 2-0 win over Boston last Monday.

    "For me, my mindset is just to attack and throw strikes. I'm always confident," he said.

    While he might have some confidence, Oberholtzer is facing a team that's won 14 of 16 over the Astros and 18 of 21 at Minute Maid Park, including a series-best eight in a row there.

    Yu Darvish (11-5, 2.72) will try to deliver that victory by earning his third straight win and fourth in five starts. He's 3-1 with a 1.37 ERA in his last four outings but wasn't at his sharpest in an 8-3 victory at the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.

    He gave up two home runs in one inning in the first time in his career and allowed three runs over seven innings.

    "It was probably the worst outing I've had this year," he told the team's website. "But I was able to keep the game close and contribute to the win."

    Darvish was 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA in his first three starts against Houston, including two at Minute Maid this season, but gave up five runs over six innings in losing 9-5 in the most recent matchup on July 6.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

    Current StreakL1L15
    Last 108-20-10

    Pitching Matchup

    Y. Darvish
    13-9, 2.83 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/29 vs LAA
    5.2 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = ND
    B. Oberholtzer
    4-5, 2.76 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/27 vs NYY
    5.1 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = Loss

    Gameday Lineups

    1. L. Martin, CF R. Grossman, LF
    2. E. Andrus, SS M. Krauss, RF
    3. I. Kinsler, DH B. Wallace, 1B
    4. A. Beltre, 3B C. Carter, DH
    5. A. Pierzynski, C M. Dominguez, 3B
    6. A. Rios, RF C. Corporan, C
    7. J. Baker, 1B B. Barnes, CF
    8. C. Gentry, LF J. Elmore, 2B
    9. J. Profar, 2B J. Villar, SS

    Research Notes

    Adrian Beltre swings at 46 percent of pitches on the outer half of the plate and is hitting .301. He'll face Brett Oberholzer, who, in two starts, has allowed four hits in 31 at-bats (.129 average) against pitches on the outer half.
    From Elias: Yu Darvish is the first pitcher in the expansion era (since 1961) with multiple no-hit bids of 7+ innings against the same team in a season.
    Yu Darvish is averaing 10.75 strikeouts per game vs the Astros this season, the most against a single opponent in the last 10 seasons, minimum 4 games. In the last 10 seasons, the only other pitcher to average more than 10 strikeouts per game vs a single opponent in a single season was Justin Verlander in 2009 against the Indians.
    Darvish joins Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers since 1900 to strikeout at least 15 batters in a game in which the lone hit they allowed was a homer.
    Rangers have won 8 straight road games, tied for the 2nd-longest road win streak in a single season in Rangers history.
    Yu Darvish became the first pitcher since Randy Johnson in 2001 to strikeout at least 15 batters while allowing just 1 hit and 1 or fewer walks in a game.
    Yu Darvish now has 5 games this season with at least 14 strikeouts. The rest of baseball has combined for just 3 (Jose Fernandez, Chris Sale & Anibal Sanchez)

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