The concluding game of this year’s Lone Star Series matches Rangers unbeaten RHP Tommy Hunter and Astros ace RHP Roy Oswalt at 7:05 tonight at Rangers Ballpark. Here's a brief look at the matchup:
Hunter (3-0, 2.31 ERA): Since joining the team on June 5, the 23-year-old has registered quality starts in three of four outings. In his last start, Hunter pitched six innings and had season highs in hits and strikeouts in a victory over Pittsburgh on Tuesday. It was his first start since an injury-shortened outing at Florida on June 14. He has held opponents to two runs or less in all four starts. He enjoys pitching at home. Hunter is 9-4 with a 3.82 ERA in starts at Rangers Ballpark. This will be his first appearance against the Astros. He is 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA in interleague play. Hunter began the season on the DL after suffering a left oblique strain in spring training. He went 1-2 with a 4.05 ERA in six appearances for Oklahoma City before being recalled.
Oswalt (5-9, 3.08 ERA): Rumors have been flying that the 32-year-old Mississippi native could possibly be calling Rangers Ballpark home should the Astros be inclined to deal him. Oswalt’s record is not an indication of how well he has pitched. For instance, in his last start, he allowed two runs in seven innings in a 3-1 loss to San Francisco, one of three heads-up matchups against RHP Tim Lincecum. Oswalt has held opponents to two runs or less in 10 starts this season. He has 94 strikeouts in 99.1 innings and has allowed only 82 hits. This will be his 12th career start against the Rangers and his first against the club since 2008. He owns a 4-5 record against the Rangers with a 3.99 ERA. In 2008, he was 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA in two starts against the Rangers.
Hitters: Ian Kinsler owns a .462 average against Oswalt, including a home run. Michael Young is hitting .306 with four doubles and six RBIs in a large sample of 36 at-bats. Vladimir Guerrero and Josh Hamilton have had problems, going a combined 3-for-18 against Oswalt. The Rangers’ Hunter will be facing Houston hitters for the first time at the big league level.