Monday, July 2, 2012
Week ahead: White Sox (road), Twins (home)
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers enjoy an off day today before they head to Chicago to face the White Sox for three games, including the July 4 holiday. The club then returns home to face the Minnesota Twins prior to the All-Star break. A few things to keep an eye on:
* Roy Oswalt. The veteran makes his third start for Texas on Tuesday against the White Sox. It's also his first regular-season road start since Sept. 27, 2011 in Atlanta. He pitched six shutout innings that day. In the past three seasons, Oswalt is 16-13 with a 3.32 ERA in his road starts.
* The White Sox have won seven of their last 11, but lost two straight to the Yankees over the weekend, scoring just two runs in the two games. They are seventh in scoring, but in the middle of the league in the rest of the offensive stats.
* Manager Ron Washington said Sunday that he was disappointed he couldn't get A.J. Pierzynski on the All-Star team. Read more here.
* The Twins are last in the AL Central at 33-45, but they took three of four from the Royals over the weekend.
* MLB will announce its players of the month this week, and I've got to think Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison has a great shot to win it. He was 5-0 with a 1.29 ERA in six starts. He got my vote.
* Adrian Beltre had the best June of any Rangers offensive player -- hitting .343 -- and will start the All-Star Game. We'll see if he can keep it going.
* Josh Hamilton finished the month with some solid games and a more patient approach. Overall, it was not a good June at all for him. Perhaps he can build off his last few games.