Texas Rangers: Dallas Keuchel

Matchup: Martin Perez vs. Dallas Keuchel

September, 25, 2013
9/25/13
1:30
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers go for the three-game sweep of Houston with rookie left-hander Martin Perez facing Astos lefty Dallas Keuchel at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday night on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and Deportes 1540 AM.

PODCAST
Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.

Listen Listen
Perez (9-5, 3.54 ERA): Perez is 0-2 in his last three starts after winning six in a row from Aug. 5 to Sept. 3. ... He took a no-decision in the Rangers' 2-1 loss at Kansas City on Friday night, allowing a run in 5 2/3 innings. ... Perez will try for his 10th win for the fourth time, hoping to join Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and Matt Garza (between the AL and NL) with double-digit wins. ... Perez is tied with Matt Harrison for the most wins by a Rangers rookie left-hander. ... Perez had the best start of his career in his only appearance against the Astros this season, throwing a complete game while striking out a career-high eight. He was one strike away from a shutout but allowed a home run to Chris Carter.

Keuchel (6-9, 4.99 ERA): Keuchel is making his final start of the season. ... He is 1-2 with a 5.03 ERA in his last six starts and has allowed 43 hits in 34 innings over that span. ... Keuchel did pitch well in his last start Thursday against Cleveland, allowing one run in seven innings. He had seven strikeouts and walked only one. ... Opponents are batting .299 against him. ... Keuchel is 0-5 with an 11.10 ERA in six career road starts. ... He allowed a run in five innings in his only start against the Rangers.

Hitters: Adrian Beltre is 4-for-12 with two doubles against Keuchel. Chris Carter is 4-for-8 with two home runs and three RBIs against Perez.

Matchup: Martin Perez vs. Dallas Keuchel

August, 11, 2013
8/11/13
9:00
AM CT
HOUSTON -- The Rangers and Houston Astros play a Sunday matinee with left-hander Martin Perez facing lefty Dallas Keuchel at 1:10 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.

Perez (4-3, 3.81): Perez comes off off a start in Anaheim in which he set several career highs ... He had seven strikeouts, four walks and 111 pitches, all the most in his young career ... The 22-year-old left-hander earned the victory in a 5-2 win over the Angels, allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings ... Perez is 4-2 with a 3.69 ERA for his last nine starts ... His four wins since being called up from Triple-A Round Rock on June 22 are tied for the team lead with Yu Darvish and Derek Holland ... Perez is 3-1 with a 5.46 ERA on the road since being recalled.

Keuchel (5-6, 4.96): Keuchel returns to the rotation after throwing 31 pitches out of the bullpen on Tuesday, his second unexpected long relief appearance ... The Astros are going with a six-man rotation ... The 25-year-old Keuchel last started on July 27, allowing six runs in 7 1/3 innings ... Keuchel allowed four runs in 2/3 innings in his outing on Tuesday against Boston ... Keuchel has faced the Rangers twice this season, allowing two earned runs in each start ... The Astros are 7-7 when Keuchel starts, their best record with anyone in the rotation.

Hitters: Perez has never faced Houston. Ian Kinsler is 3-for-8 against Keuchel.

W2W4: Rangers at Houston Astros

August, 9, 2013
8/09/13
11:00
AM CT
HOUSTON -- For the Texas Rangers, there's no time to let up now.

The Rangers, who have made it back into a tie for the America League West lead, have a chance to push their way past Oakland in the standings by again dominating the Houston Astros in a four-game series that starts Friday at Minute Maid Park.

Texas has a pitching edge with Matt Garza, Derek Holland, Martin Perez and Yu Darvish slated to pitch against the Astros, who enter the series with a 37-76 record.

Here's what to watch for in Houston:

PODCAST
Richard Durrett believes that the Rangers are better than the A's and that the Nelson Cruz suspension is a major reason why.

Listen Listen
Keeping the Boot: The Rangers can keep the Silver Boot trophy (awarded to winner of the season series between Texas and Houston) by winning three out of four games from the Astros. It's difficult not to like the Rangers' chances. They are 7-2 against the Astros, winning six of the last seven games. The Rangers are 21-5 against the Astros since the start of the 2010 season. Texas has won the last 11 series against Houston.

Looking at lefties: Houston will throw a left-handed starter against the Rangers in three of the last four games. It starts Friday with Erik Bedard (3-8, 4.29 ERA). Bedard is 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA against the Rangers this season. After right-hander Brad Peacock (1-4, 7.25) on Saturday, the Astros will send out lefties Dallas Keuchel (5-6, 4.96) on Sunday and Brett Olberholtzer (2-0, 2.53) on Monday. Keuchel has made one start against the Rangers this season, allowing two earned runs in five innings.

Battling Astros: Houston nearly won a three-game series from American League East-leader Boston this week. The Astros took the lead into the ninth inning of Wednesday's rubber game, only to have Boston's Stephen Drew hit a three-run home run off new Houston closer Josh Fields for a 7-5 win. The Astros had a lead in all three games. They led 5-0 and 7-3 on Tuesday night before the Red Sox rallied for a 15-10 win at Minute Maid Park.

Sinking bullpen: Houston's bullpen hasn't been the same since closer Jose Veras was traded to the Detroit Tigers. Fields' blown save Wednesday night was the fourth in five opportunities for the Astros' bullpen. Since trading Veras, Houston's relief corps have a 6.58 ERA while allowing five home runs and 19 walks in 26 innings. The Astros are 30-4 when leading entering the ninth inning. The Rangers are 57-1.

Owning the West: The Rangers have obliterated AL West opponents this season. Texas is an MLB-best 33-14 against its division rivals -- including 11 wins in the last 13 games vs. AL West opponents after a road sweep of the Los Angeles Angels. The Rangers are in a stretch of 19 of 22 games against the division. They are 8-1 so far.

Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. Dallas Keuchel

July, 6, 2013
7/06/13
12:04
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers try for a three-game winning streak when right-hander Yu Darvish faces Houston left-hander Dallas Keuchel at 6:15 p.m. Saturday night on FOX and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.

Darvish (8-3, 2.78 ERA): Darvish ended a seven-game winless streak, pitching 6⅔ scoreless innings as the Rangers beat the Cincinnati Reds … He is tied for ninth in the American League in wins … Darvish leads the major leagues with 151 strikeouts and 11.99 strikeouts per nine innings … Darvish already has the highest strikeout total prior to the All-Star break since the Chicago Cubs' Kerry Wood had 156 K's … His .190 batting average against is the second lowest in the majors behind the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (.189) … Darvish is 15-4 with a 3.41 ERA in 24 career starts at Rangers Ballpark … He is 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA and 33 strikeouts in three career starts against the Houston Astros … Darvish fell one out short of a perfect game against Houston on April 2.

Keuchel (4-5, 4.66 ERA): Keuchel lost his last start, giving up five runs on 4⅔ innings in a 12-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays … The 25-year-old left-hander allowed eight hits and five walks … He opened the season pitching out of the Astros bullpen … Keuchel had made nine straight starts before a relief appearance on June 25 … The Astros are 5-5 in his starts … Keuchel has been able to pitch deep into games, going six-plus innings seven straight times before the Tampa Bay debacle … He is sixth in the American League with a 2.06 ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratio … He has three career starts against the Rangers, in which he is 0-0 with a 2.45 ERA.

Hitters: Matt Dominguez is 2-for-3 with two home runs and three RBIs against Darvish. Nelson Cruz is 2-for-6 with a home run off Keuchel.

Matchup: Alexi Ogando vs. Dallas Keuchel

May, 10, 2013
5/10/13
1:30
PM CT
The Rangers will try and cool off the surging Houston Astros when they open a three-game series at Minute Maid Park on Friday night. Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando will face Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel at 7:10 p.m. on Ch. 21 and ESPN-FM 103.3 and 1540-AM.

Ogando (3-2, 3.08): Ogando comes in off a win against Boston, allowing a run in six innings ... It snapped a stretch of four straight starts without a win for Ogando ... Ogando has dealt with very little run support as the Rangers are averaging 2.84 runs for his starts, fifth lowest in the American League ... He's received 12 runs in 38 innings pitched ... Ogando sparkled in his first start of the season at Houston, striking out 10 Astros ... He hasn't fanned more than five in five straight starts ... Ogando combined with four relievers for a five-hit shutout in a win over the Astros on April 3 ... The 10 strikeouts in that game were a career high ... Ogando is 1-0 with 0.96 ERA for three appearances against Houston ... Ogando's fastball command improved in his last start against the Red Sox and he walked only two batters and didn't give up a home run.

Keuchel (0-1, 4.96): Keuchel makes his first start after six relief appearances to begin the season ... Keuchel has made six relief appearances, two since being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City last week ... He's allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings since returning to the Astros, including four runs in 4 1/3 innings to Detroit on May 2 ... Opponents are hitting .319 against Keuchel ... He has made one start in his career and that came last June against the Rangers when he gave up a run in five innings ... Keuchel allowed only four hits but also had four walks ... Keuchel wants to be a starter and he made 16 of them last season going 3-8 with a 5.27 ERA ... Keuchel is not a hard thrower, but he does have a good change-up that he keeps down in the strike zone.

Hitters: The Rangers that faced Keuchel last year were 4 for 14 against him. Jose Altuve is 1-for-4 with a double against Ogando.

W2W4: Rangers-Astros

May, 10, 2013
5/10/13
8:00
AM CT
Don't look now, the Houston Astros are hot.

Well sort of hot.

PODCAST
Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit and wastes no time sounding off on MLB umpire Angel Hernandez.

Listen Listen
On pace to lose 122 games before Tuesday, the Astros won a series this week, taking two out of three games from the struggling Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Houston was on the verge of a sweep Thursday night but blew a 5-3 lead in the seventh inning and lost 6-5 to the Halos.

Here's some storylines to watch for this weekend as the Lone Star Series continues:

1. Rotation changes in H-Town: The Astros overhauled their starting rotation on Wednesday as rookie manager Bo Porter put left-handers Dallas Keuchel and Erik Bedard in the rotation and moved slumping right-hander Philip Humber in the bullpen. Porter admitted that part of the reshuffling has to do with a Rangers' lineup that is stacked with left-handed hitters. Though with catcher A.J. Pierzynski's trip to the 15-day disabled list and David Murphy's prolonged slump, the Rangers' should only have one left-handed batter in the lineup Friday and Saturday, first baseman Mitch Moreland. Keuchel, who makes his first start of the season Friday, is 0-1 with a 4.96 ERA in relief, but did limit the Rangers to a run in five innings in his only other career start last June.

2. Altuve an All-Star: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve looks like a lock to be the Astros' lone All-Star representative. He's fifth in the American League in batting with a .336 average. He has eight doubles and a slugging percentage of .453. He also has 17 RBIs, fourth among Al second basemen behind the Yankees' Robinson Cano (20), the Rangers' Ian Kinsler (20) and Tampa Bay's Kelly Johnson (18).

3. Strikeout kings: The Astros are still running away with the Major League lead in strikeouts with 353. That's 49 more than their closest pursuers, the Atlanta Braves. Houston is averaging just over 10 strikeouts per game. They had 33 Ks in the season-opening series against the Rangers, including 14 by Yu Darvish in his near perfect game. Alexi Ogando is pitching Friday's series opener and he had 10 strikeouts while opening night starter Matt Harrison, who is on the disabled list, had nine strikeouts in the Astros' lone win of the first series.

4. How about Marwin?: Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez broke up Yu Darvish's perfect game bid you might remember with a single under the pitcher's glove with two outs in the bottom of the ninth back on April 2. Gonzalez maintained a strong start for a while but has dipped to .253 for the season and only played in one of three games against the Angels. Gonzalez is 2-for-19 for May with two RBIs. He had his average as high as .321 on April 27.

Rangers domination: The Rangers are 16-4 against the Astros since 2010 and have won six of the last seven games against Houston. It should be a favorable setting for the Rangers at Minute Maid Park with Texas fans sure to turn out for Yu Darvish in droves on Saturday night, hoping for another magical night.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Colby Lewis
WINS ERA SO IP
10 5.18 133 170
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182