Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Matchup: Matt Garza vs. A.J. Burnett
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates conclude a three-game series Wednesday afternoon with right-hander Matt Garza facing Bucs right-hander A.J. Burnett at 1:05 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.
Garza (9-4, 3.70 ERA): Garza gets his fourth shot at 10 wins. ... He is 3-3 in nine starts for the Rangers with two walk-off wins, and 9-4 in 20 starts this season between Texas and the Chicago Cubs. ... He has slumped of late, allowing four earned runs or more in six of his past seven starts. ... Garza is 2-3 with a 5.03 ERA in seven starts since Aug. 3. ... Garza lost a 3-0 lead in his start Friday against the Angels, allowing five runs in the fourth inning. He allowed five hits to the first six batters he faced, capped by a three-run home run by Mark Trumbo. ... Garza has chewed up innings, lasting at least seven innings in seven of his nine starts as a Ranger. ... He has allowed a home run in seven of his starts. ... He is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in four career starts against the Pirates. ... He took a no-decision in his only start versus the Bucs this season, despite allowing one hit in five shutout innings.
Burnett (7-10, 3.31 ERA): Burnett allowed five runs in a season-low three innings Friday in a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates are hoping it was a blip for Burnett, who has allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of his past 13 starts. ... Burnett went eight consecutive starts without giving up a home run before he allowed a solo shot Aug. 20. ... Burnett has a 2.70 ERA in three interleague starts. ... He is averaging 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings, the second-best ratio in the National League. ... Burnett is 4-3 with a 3.66 ERA for 12 games/11 starts versus the Rangers. ... He has won four of his past five decisions, winning the last time on April 17, 2010, while pitching for the Yankees. ... Burnett is 2-1 with a 4.00 ERA in six career starts at Rangers Ballpark.
Hitters: Alex Rios (5-for-15, 2 RBIs) and Adrian Beltre (10-for-31, 1 HR, 7 RBIs) have had good success against Burnett. The current Pirates are batting .269 against Garza, with five batting .300 or better against him. Jose Tabata (5-for-10), Pedro Alvarez (5-for-12, 1 HR, 4 RBIs) and Marlon Byrd (4-for-14, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs) have hit Garza hard.