Saturday, June 19, 2010
Mound matchup: Lewis vs. Moehler
By Calvin Watkins
HOUSTON -- The Rangers and Astros continue this three-game series for the right to hold the Silver Boot when a pair of right handers, Colby Lewis and Brian Moehler take the hill. Moehler, who will pitch for the struggling Astros (26-42), makes his fifth start of the season. Lewis will be pitching on five-days rest. By the way, it's Nolan Ryan Bobblehead night at Minute Maid Park.
RHP Colby Lewis (6-4, 3.30): Due to the off day, Lewis, the team-leader in wins, will go on five days rest. In his last start, Sunday at Milwaukee, he earned the victory after allowing just two earned runs on three hits in eight innings. He did give up two home runs, but he struck out 10 and threw 119 pitches. It was Lewis' fourth 10 strikeout game of the season and he became the first Rangers pitcher to do that at least four times since yes, the great Nolan Ryan did it in 1991. Ryan did it four times. ... Lewis has an ERA of 2.70 in his last five starts, where he's 3-2. ... Opponents are hitting just .197 against him, lowest in the AL and third lowest in the majors.
RHP Brian Moehler (0-3, 6.32): Moehler started the season in the bullpen and he's struggled. Yet, the Astros have won two of his last four starts, which were no-decisions for him. In his last start, June 13 at the New York Yankees, Moehler allowed four runs on four hits in just 4 2/3 innings. He tied his career-high in yielding five walks. It was the most walks of his career since 1998. ... He's faced the Rangers 13 times, including 11 starts. In seven of those starts, he's given up fewer than three earned runs. ... When it comes to interleague games, Moehler is 9-12 with a 4.21 ERA in 37 games, with 30 starts. Houston is 4-2 in his last six interleague games.
Rangers: Josh Hamilton is on a tear. He's got the longest hit streak going in the majors, 14 games, right now and on this nine-game road trip, he's got 14 hits with five extra base hits. ... Ian Kinsler has reached base the last four games. ... It seems Justin Smoak has broken out of his funk. He was in a 2-for-22 slide until Friday night. He went 2-for-5 with a a career-high four RBI. He had a home run and a double.
Hunter Pence's two-doubles on Friday night, tied a career-high. ... Jeff Keppinger had his 22nd multi-hit game of the season on Friday. ... Carlos Lee has 13 career home runs against Rangers pitching and nine RBI his last 10 games. ... Since May 8, Lance Berkman has reached safely via hit or walk in 31 of hs last 37 games.