Matchup: Matt Garza vs. Erik Bedard

HOUSTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers open a four-game series against the in-state rival Houston Astros on Friday night with right-hander Matt Garza facing Astros left-hander Erik Bedard at 7:10 p.m. on Ch. 21 and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.

Garza (7-2, 3.09): Garza makes his fourth start for the Rangers. ... Garza allowed four runs in eight innings as he took his first loss since June 11 in a 4-2 defeat to Oakland on Saturday. ... He has the third-lowest ERA (1.77) and is tied for the fourth-most wins (six) in the majors since June 16. ... Garza is winless in his last two starts after winning a career-best six consecutive games. ... He has allowed five or fewer hits in six of his last nine starts. ... Garza has been a road warrior this season with a 3-1 record and a 2.58 ERA. ... Garza is 2-3 with a 3.88 ERA for seven career starts against the Astros. ... He has not pitched well at Minute Maid Park, where he is 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA.

Bedard (3-8, 4.29): Bedard has lost five straight decisions and doesn't have a win since June 26 against St. Louis. ... That despite leaving one of those starts with a no-hitter. ... Bedard pitched 6 1/3 hitless innings on July 20 against Seattle before asking to come out of the game. ... He had thrown 109 pitches. ... Since then Bedard has allowed four runs in 11 innings in two starts. ... Bedard has had control issues with 54 walks in 109 innings. ... His walk total is the eighth most in the American League. ... He is 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA for two starts/three appearances against the Rangers this season.

Hitters: A.J. Pierzynski is 6-for-17 with two home runs and four RBIs against Bedard. Chris Carter is 2-for-3 with a home run against Garza.