Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Mound matchup: Beltre vs. Kazmir
By Richard Durrett
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Rangers face the Angels in the second game of a three-game set tonight at 9:05 p.m. Dallas time. The game features the major league debut of Omar Beltre against LHP Scott Kazmir. Here's a quick look at the matchups:
Beltre (0-0, 0.00 ERA): Beltre, 28, is pitching in the United States for the first time since 2004 because visa issues prevented him from leaving the Dominican Republic. He is 0-5 with a 2.39 ERA and two saves in 15 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City this season. He is 0-2 with a 1.25 ERA in five starts (three earned runs in 21 2/3 innings pitched). Beltre, who had not pitched above Class A before this season, has held left-handed batters to a .218 average (opponents are hitting .246 total against him) and has allowed just one homer all season. The ground ball pitcher will be throwing on five days' rest after giving up no runs on two hits with six strikeouts and no walks in five innings against New Orleans last week (he threw just 56 pitches and 42 were strikes).
Kazmir (7-6, 5.42 ERA): He had four straight wins before dropping his last start on June 24 to the Dodgers. Kazmir has lost his last three starts at home and hasn't posted a victory in Anaheim since April 25 against the Yankees. He is making his second start of the season against Texas, falling 4-3 to Texas on May 17 in Arlington after allowing four runs on nine hits with one walk and four strikeouts in seven innings. He was 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA against the Rangers in 2009 and has a 2.37 ERA vs. Texas in his career, his best against any AL opponent.
Hitters: Beltre hasn't faced any of the Angels' hitters. Vladimir Guerrero is 6-for-14 and Elvis Andrus 4-for-11 against Kazmir. But Ian Kinsler (3-for-26), Josh Hamilton (3-for-12) and Nelson Cruz (2-for-12) have struggled in their careers versus Kazmir.