Texas Rangers: San Francisco Giants

Rapid Reaction: Giants 5, Rangers 2

March, 15, 2013
3/15/13
5:43
PM CT
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--The Texas Rangers (9-9-2) saw their two-game winning streak come to an end with a 5-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants (8-9-3) on Friday at Scottsdale Stadium.

What this means: Texas falls back to .500 after losing both games of the two-game spring series to San Francisco.

Lowe debuts: Derek Lowe pitched two scoreless innings in his Rangers and spring debut. He scattered a pair of hits and walked one.

Great gun: Craig Gentry showed off his arm on a play during the first inning when he threw out Andres Torres who was trying to tag up and take third on a fly out to right field. Gentry made the catch about halfway out in right, and fired a bullet to Adrian Beltre that got there so quickly that Beltre had to wait for Torres to take a few more steps toward him before applying the easy tag.

PODCAST
Manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Surprise, Ariz., to discuss how the Rangers are looking heading into the 2013 season.

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Double threat: 1B-OF Jim Adduci, all 6-2, 210-pounds of him, stole second base cleanly in the second inning, and had a good jump doing it, showing he has speed to go along with a good bat. He tried to steal second again in the fifth inning but was thrown out on a close play.

Self defense: LHP Joe Ortiz saved himself when Matt Cain drilled a line drive back at the Rangers reliever to lead off the third inning. Ortiz quickly dropped down to the mound to avoid the ball and put his glove up to his face, knocking the shot down and throwing the ball to first to secure the out. The play went 1-3 on the scorecard but was anything but routine.

Zero Joe: Speaking of Ortiz, he threw his seventh scoreless inning of the spring, and has allowed just three hits in his seven innings of work.

Captain Kirkman: LHP Michael Kirkman will likely be asked to take on a bigger role in the bullpen this season and he looks ready for the added responsibility. Kirkman threw a scoreless eighth inning and remains unscored upon in six innings this spring.

Cain pain: Texas could only muster two hits in five scoreless innings against San Francisco starter Cain, who faced one batter above the minimum.

Font 'A' debut: RHP Wilmer Font made his first appearance in an 'A' game this spring and allowed a two-run home run to Hunter Pence during his inning of work. Font was sidelined early in camp with biceps tendonitis. He rose from High-A Myrtle Beach to the majors in 2012, just one year removed from undergoing Tommy John surgery. Font averaged 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings with Myrtle Beach.

Perfect no more: RHP Johan Yan was untouchable through his first five appearances, allowing no hits and just one walk -- until Friday. Torres took a pitch deep in the seventh inning, hitting a two-run home run, the first blemish on Yan's spring ledger.

Big draw: The Texas-San Francisco game was a sellout with Scottsdale Stadium packed with 12,106 fans taking in the game under 85-degree, mostly sunny skies.

What's next?: Texas is scheduled for a pair of split-squad games this weekend, with one game being played in Arizona and the other in Las Vegas on each day. On Saturday, the Rangers will play one game against the Chicago Cubs at Cashman Field at 3:05 p.m. CT. RHP Nick Tepesch (0-0, 2.25) will start for Texas. RHP Jeff Samardzjia (1-0, 5.59) takes the mound for Chicago. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports Southwest.

In the other game, Texas hosts the Los Angeles Dodgers at Surprise Stadium at 3:05 p.m. CT. LHP Matt Harrison (1-0, 9.00) will start for the Rangers. LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-2, 5.54) is the scheduled starter for the Dodgers. The game can be heard live on ESPN 103.3 FM.

Rapid Reaction: Giants 2, Rangers 1

March, 11, 2013
3/11/13
6:20
PM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers (7-8-2) saw their spring-high three-game winning streak come to an end after dropping a 2-1 decision to the San Francisco Giants (6-7-3) on Monday at Surprise Stadium. Yu Darvish allowed one run on five hits in 3 2/3 innings while striking out five and did not allow a walk.

What it means: The Rangers dropped back below .500 after suffering their first loss in seven games.

New battery: Geovany Soto caught Darvish in a game for the first time this spring. A.J. Pierzynski was behind the plate for Darvish's first two starts. Manager Ron Washington said that was just a result of the natural catching rotation and it was Soto's turn to start.

PODCAST
Derek Holland joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the benefits of pitching in the World Baseball Classic and why he thinks letting Nolan Ryan leave the Texas Rangers would be a mistake.

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Great glove: Mike Olt saved at least one run from scoring in the third inning when he made a diving catch on a line drive by Buster Posey to keep the Giants' lead at 1-0. Olt was playing just his third game in right field.

Bum rap: The Rangers could only muster a double by Mitch Moreland against San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner during his four innings of work.

Double double: Moreland showed no signs of rust or lingering affects after missing two games with a tight right hamstring. The Rangers' first baseman went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a run scored.

Close call: Joe Nathan seemed to be on the way to a rough outing Monday after allowing a run on back-to-back triples to the first two batters he faced. Giants hitters couldn't touch him after that, as the Rangers closer responded by striking out the side on 11 pitches.

Left out: Nate Robertson continues to have a very good spring, pitching a scoreless seventh inning Monday. The left-hander is unscored upon in six innings this spring.

Team effort: Six Rangers pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts and just one walk.

Spring fever: With Phoenix area children on their first day of spring break, the Giants being in town, and a beautiful 73-degree day, a spring-high crowd of 10,025 took in the game at Surprise Stadium.

What's next? The Rangers host Milwaukee on Tuesday at 3:05 p.m. CT to close out a two-game homestand. RHP Alexi Ogando (0-1, 5.68) will get the start for the Rangers. RHP Mark Rogers (0-0, 3.86) is the scheduled starter for the Brewers. Texas has an off day Wednesday.

Crystal ball: Who wins World Series?

October, 24, 2012
10/24/12
9:28
AM CT

Game 1 of the World Series is finally here and for the first time since 2009, it doesn't include the Texas Rangers. But that doesn't have to stop us from predicting a winner, does it?

Justin Verlander goes out for Game 1 in the hopes of getting the Detroit Tigers an early lead and taking homefield away from the San Francisco Giants, at least momentarily.

But these Giants have already won six straight elimination games, so even if they fall behind in the series or things don't look like they are going in their favor, don't count them out.

Still, I'm taking the Tigers in six games. I do think it may take the bats a little time to get going because of the long layoff Detroit had while waiting for the NLCS to finish, but they'll come around and the starting pitching of the Tigers should hold the Giants down long enough to get the title. We'll see.

So who are you picking? Give us your prediction, how many games and why.

Alexi Ogando on injury: 'It feels pretty bad'

June, 10, 2012
6/10/12
8:54
PM CT
Alexi Ogando didn't sound optimistic about his right groin injury after Sunday's 5-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.

"Right now it feels pretty bad," Ogando, who is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday, told reporters. "I feel bad because of the situation we're in, but that's something that happens in baseball."

PODCAST
Rangers manager Ron Washington reacts to Sunday's 5-0 victory over the Giants.

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Ogando was only starting because two other members of the Rangers' rotation, Derek Holland (shoulder) and Neftali Feliz (elbow), are on the disabled list.

Scott Feldman has gone winless while filling in for Feliz, who could be out until the All-Star break. When Holland was placed on the DL with shoulder fatigue Thursday, Ogando was moved out of the bullpen.

Ogando, who started 29 games last season, was more than up to the task through three innings, retiring all nine Giants he faced.

With runners at first and second and one out in the top of the fourth, Ogando laid down a bunt to the third-base side. The Giants failed to make a play on the ball, but Ogando ran hard all the way, loading the bases with an infield single.

"When the ball got past the pitcher, I sped up to beat it out and felt it midway," Ogando said about how he was hurt.

To save a position player, Rangers manager Ron Washington used pitcher Matt Harrison to pinch run for Ogando.

Unbeaten rookie Robbie Ross was called upon to protect the lead and the perfect game.

"I wanted Ogando to keep going to possibly get that, which was sweet," Ross told reporters. "Then I get in there and after the first inning I'm like, 'Oh, dang, we have a no-hitter going.' After that, I kind of forgot. That's part of it."

A two-out, fifth-inning error by second baseman Ian Kinsler allowed Brandon Belt to reach first and end the perfect game bid. A one-out, sixth-inning double by Aubrey Huff broke up the no-hitter.

That was the only hit allowed by Ross (6-0) in four innings of work. However, Washington said Ross is not a candidate to replace Ogando in the rotation if he can't make his next start, which is scheduled for Saturday against the Houston Astros.

"He's not pitching his way into the rotation, that's nothing we thought about," Washington said on the postgame show heard on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. "He certainly did what we needed him to do today and he was capable of doing just that, and he did. Robbie's been good for us all year."

Mike Adams gave up two hits in the eighth inning and Joe Nathan completed the three-hit shutout with a perfect ninth.

Newly signed Roy Oswalt doesn't appear to be a candidate if a replacement for Ogando is needed. Oswalt will start at Frisco for the Double-A RoughRiders on Tuesday after making two starts for Triple-A Round Rock. When the Rangers signed Oswalt to a free-agent deal last month, he said he'd need four starts to get ready for the majors.

Washington wouldn't discuss other options.

Information from The Associated Press and texasrangers.com was used in this report.

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 5, Giants 0

June, 10, 2012
6/10/12
5:39
PM CT
How it happened: Alexi Ogando’s first start of the season lasted just three innings, and it wasn't because the Texas Rangers thought that three perfect innings would suffice. He left the game in the top of the fourth inning after hustling down the first-base line on a bunt single, straining his right groin.

Ogando’s bunt set up a bases loaded situation with one out for Ian Kinsler. Kinsler delivered a two-RBI double to left field for a 3-0 Rangers lead.

The Rangers enhanced their lead to 5-0 in the sixth when Josh Hamilton delivered a two-out, two-RBI double to right field that ended the afternoon for Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum. Hamilton’s major-league leading RBI total moved up to 61.

After Ogando’s perfect three, Robbie Ross pitched and the game remained perfect until an error by Kinsler with two outs in the fifth. The no-hitter stayed intact until one out in the sixth when Ross surrendered a double to Aubrey Huff. Ross pitched four scoreless relief innings.

PODCAST
Rangers manager Ron Washington reacts to Sunday's 5-0 victory over the Giants.

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Walking the walk: Lincecum entered the game ranked second in the National League with 35 walks. In the first inning with two outs, he walked the bases loaded. Mike Napoli grounded into a fielders’ choice to leave the bases loaded. Napoli entered this game batting .409 (9-for-22) on the trip. He is now 0-for-2 this season with the bases loaded and two outs.

Talking the talk: Lincecum also entered this start with opponents hitting .329 with runners in scoring position, the third highest average in Major League Baseball. The Rangers didn’t capitalize in the first, but they did in the third. One out after the fourth triple of the season for Elvis Andrus to Triples Alley at AT&T Park, Adrian Beltre collected his 37th RBI with a double to put the Rangers up, 1-0.

More RISP, more rewards: Kinsler’s bases-loaded double in the fourth inning makes him 2-for-8 with two doubles and four RBIs when the bases are loaded. Hamilton entered the game as a .353 hitter with runners in scoring position, and he capitalized in the sixth.

E-4: Kinsler made 11 errors in 2011 -- for the season. He already has eight this season, including two in this series and one Sunday. Kinsler committed three errors during the 10-game road trip.

For starters: Ogando made his first start in his 28th appearance. As an all-star starting pitcher last season, he was 13-8 with a 3.56 ERA in 29 starts. In 2012, he had not worked more than two innings in a relief outing, and his highest pitch count was 39. He matched that through three innings Sunday. His strained right groin will be re-evaluated Monday.

Right move: Rightfielder Nelson Cruz left Saturday’s game in the eighth because of a sore right Achilles, and he was not in the starting lineup Sunday. David Murphy made his second start of the season in right field. Cruz pinch-hit for Ross in the eighth inning, and he delivered a line-drive single to center field.

Centered: Cruz not being in the starting lineup also meant that Craig Gentry was in the starting lineup against a right-handed starting pitcher. Gentry had seven hits in this series, and he was 9-for-16 on the road trip.

First thought: Michael Young was not in the starting lineup, but he was available to pinch-hit. Mitch Moreland started at first base.

Road trippin’: The Rangers ended their 10-game road trip with a 4-6 record. They lost two of three in Anaheim and three of four in Oakland, but they won two of three against the Giants.

Lineups: Mike Napoli catching Alexi Ogando

June, 10, 2012
6/10/12
1:46
PM CT
Alexi Ogando takes the mound for his first start of the season as the Texas Rangers take on Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants in the rubber match of their three-game series at AT&T Park.

RANGERS

Ian Kinsler, 2B
Elvis Andrus, SS
Josh Hamilton, LF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
David Murphy, RF
Mike Napoli, C
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Craig Gentry, CF
Alexi Ogando, P

GIANTS
Gregor Blanco, LF
Ryan Theriot, 2B
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Buster Posey, C
Angel Pagan, CF
Brandon Belt, 1B
Nate Schierholtz, RF
Brandon Crawford, SS
Tim Lincecum, P

Matchup: Alexi Ogando vs. Tim Lincecum

June, 10, 2012
6/10/12
9:00
AM CT
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Texas Rangers will try again Sunday to get redemption for the 2010 World Series as they face off against the San Francisco Giants in the rubber match of this three-game series. The series finale will feature RHP Alexi Ogando vs. RHP Tim Lincecum. A quick look at the matchup:

Ogando (1-0, 2.27): The 28-year-old will make his first start of the season in place of Derek Holland, who landed on the disabled-list Thursday. … Ogando's last start was Sept. 24, 2011 vs. Seattle. … Holds a 0.57 ERA on the road this season in 15 2/3 innings of work. … He recorded a season-high four strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings in relief in Tuesday’s 6-3 win over Oakland. … Has never faced the Giants in the regular season but threw 3 2/3 innings of shutout baseball in his two World Series appearances in 2010.

Lincecum (2-6, 5.83): The 27-year-old is not having the kind of season he’s accustomed to. … The 2008 and 2009 NL Cy Young winner and four-time All-Star has not won a game since April 28. … Has recorded only two quality starts this year. … Giants are 2-10 in his 12 starts this season. … Opponents are hitting just .215 off him at home this year compared to .303 on the road. … Gave up five earned runs off 11 hits in 13 2/3 innings pitched in his two wins in the 2010 World Series.

Hitters: Current Rangers are 7-for-24 in the regular season against Lincecum. … Yorvit Torrealba is hitting .292 in 17 at-bats. … Current Giants are 4-for-11 off Ogando. … Left fielder Melky Cabrera is 4-for-9 with a double.

Up Next:

Tue. vs. Ariz.: RHP Colby Lewis (4-5, 3.38) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (5-5, 3.93), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
Wed. vs. Ariz.: LHP Matt Harrison (8-3, 3.87) vs. LHP Wade Miley (7-2, 2.53), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
Thu. vs. Ariz.: RHP Scott Feldman vs. RHP Daniel Hudson (2-1, 4.65), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/ FSSW

Rapid Reaction: Giants 5, Rangers 2

June, 9, 2012
6/09/12
6:31
PM CT

How it happened: After starting pitching headlined in Game 1 for the Texas Rangers during thos three-game series in San Francisco, fielding came into focus with three errors for the visitors Saturday.

Hard-luck starter Scott Feldman and the Rangers fell 5-2 to the Giants.


Miscues once more haunted Feldman. In his starts on May 14 and May 29, third baseman Adrian Beltre made errors that led to runs. On Saturday afternoon, Ian Kinsler committed his seventh error of the season in the third. After picking up Ryan Theriot's grounder to second, Kinsler went to tag baserunner Gregor Blanco, who was running from first base to second. But Blanco stopped in his tracks to avoid the tag, forcing Kinsler to throw wild to first base. Ryan Vogelsong scored on that play and gave the Giants a 1-0 lead.

The fifth inning began with left fielder Josh Hamilton battling the sun and not being able to catch Brandon Crawford's fly ball. That was Hamilton's third error of the season. Two outs later, Theriot singled to right field for a 2-0 Giants lead.

A failed pickoff attempt by Koji Uehara in the seventh inning moved Blanco from first to third. One out later, Pablo Sandoval drove in Blanco with a single for a 4-0 Giants lead.

A Giant step: Feldman did not make it past 1 2/3 innings in his last start, which was across the Bay in Oakland. Feldman, who grew up a Giants fan in nearby Burlingame, Calif., made it through five innings for the first time in six starts this season. He walked one, gave up four hits and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings against the Giants.

Inherited runner gets best of Ross: Rangers left-handed reliever Robbie Ross inherited a runner when he entered the game in relief of Feldman. Ross retired the first batter he faced for the second out of the inning, but then Nate Schierholtz tagged him for an RBI triple. Ross has allowed just three of 20 inherited runners to score against him this season, and he holds the lowest percentage among Rangers relievers at 15 percent.

Stranded Rangers: The Rangers left 13 on base in Friday night's win against the Giants, and they continued that trend in Saturday's loss. In each of the first two innings, the Rangers left two on base. Michael Young grounded into a fielders' choice for the final out of the first, and Ian Kinsler grounded out to third base to end the second. After getting two hits in the first inning, the Rangers did not manage another until the eighth.

Splash landing: Mitch Moreland had a pinch-hit lead-off home run in the eighth that landed in McCovey Cove. It was Moreland's ninth home run and 21st RBI. It was also the 25th splash landing for an opponent at the ballpark. The Rangers have four pinch-hit home runs this season. That was the third and final hit allowed by Ryan Vogelsong who pitched 7 2/3 innings.

Road weary: Hamilton has not had a good road trip. He was 1-for-3 with a walk and double Saturday. For the trip, he is 6-for-37 (.162).

Cruz leaves game: Right fielder Nelson Cruz left before the bottom of the eighth inning. David Murphy replaced Cruz in the field and took his spot in the lineup.

Facing a righty: When there is a right-handed opposing pitcher, left-handed hitting David Murphy starts in left field and Josh Hamilton plays center field. On Saturday, right-handed hitting Craig Gentry started against right-handed pitcher Ryan Vogelsong. Gentry entered this game with as a .289 hitter (.710 OPS) against righties. Gentry was 0-for-2 with a walk and was hit by a pitch.

Worlds apart: The first two starting pitchers of this series were not on the Rangers' World Series roster in 2010 when the Rangers faced the Giants. Matt Harrison and Feldman did pitch for the Rangers in that regular season.

Lineups: Mike Napoli starting at catcher

June, 9, 2012
6/09/12
2:44
PM CT
Mike Napoli is back in the lineup at catcher as the Texas Rangers look for a second straight win against the San Francisco Giants. Scott Feldman will try to snap a personal four-game losing skid opposite the Giants' Ryan Vogelsong.

RANGERS
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Elvis Andrus, SS
Josh Hamilton, LF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Michael Young, 1B
Nelson Cruz, RF
Mike Napoli, C
Craig Gentry, CF
Scott Feldman, P

GIANTS
Gregor Blanco, LF
Ryan Theriot, 2B
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Buster Posey, C
Angel Pagan, CF
Brandon Belt, 1B
Nate Schierholtz, RF
Brandon Crawford, SS
Ryan Vogelsong, P

Matchup: Scott Feldman vs. Ryan Vogelsong

June, 9, 2012
6/09/12
9:00
AM CT
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.-- The second game of this three-game series between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants features RHP Scott Feldman vs. RHP Ryan Vogelsong at 3:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW. A quick look at the matchup:

Feldman (0-4, 7.01): The 29-year-old is the first Texas pitcher to lose four consecutive starts since Matt Harrison on April 20-May 6, 2011. ... Feldman became the first Rangers pitcher to allow multiple eight-run innings in a career (including a club-record 10-run first inning on Aug. 12, 2008 at Boston). ... Has yet to complete five innings this season, exiting one out shy of five twice (both after E5's on Adrian Beltre that could have ended the inning). ... Lost his only career start vs. Giants in a June 19, 2009 (6 IP, 5 ER) matchup with Randy Johnson. ... Made two relief appearances against Giants in 2006, getting credit for the loss in one (first of two straight losses to S.F.). ... Has one run, two hits, and no walks in 14 career at-bats. ... Is a San Francisco 49ers and Golden State Warriors fan.

Vogelsong (4-2, 2.38): The 34-year-old leads the Giants and is fifth in the NL in ERA. ... The 2011 MLB All-Star plays his best ball at home, posting a 1.52 ERA and holding hitters to .199 at AT&T Park compared to his 3.71 ERA on the road this year. ... Has pitched seven shutout innings against the AL this year. ... Has faced only three current Rangers hitters, allowing three hits, one walk and a .273 batting average. ... Has never faced the Rangers.

Hitters: Current Giants are 4-for-18 against Feldman. ... Melky Cabrera is 2-for-6. ... Aubrey Huff is 1-for-6 with one RBI. ... Rangers hitters are 3-for-11 against Vogelsong. ... Yorvit Torrealba is 2-for-3 with one RBI and one walk.

Up Next: RHP Alexi Ogando (1-0, 2.27) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (2-6, 5.83), Sunday at 3:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW.

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 5, Giants 0

June, 8, 2012
6/08/12
11:55
PM CT

How it happened: Texas Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison was outstanding Friday night. He pitched a complete game for his eighth win. Harrison only allowed five hits and all singles. He induced 18 ground outs and struck out four. It was Harrison’s first shutout since May 8, 2009, and it was the third shutout of his career.

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito faced the Rangers for the 32nd time in his career, and Ian Kinsler greeted him with a home run. Later, Josh Hamilton ended an eight-game home run drought with one out in the fifth inning with his major league leading 22nd home run and 59th RBI.

In addition to hitting the long ball, the Rangers manufactured two other runs. In the fourth inning, Nelson Cruz led off with a double and moved to third on a Yorvit Torrealba ground out. Cruz scored on Craig Gentry's RBI single. In the sixth, Gentry led off with a single and advanced to second on Matt Harrison’s second sacrifice bunt of the night. Gentry scored on Kinsler’s RBI single the opposite way to right field. Zito remains on hold with 18 career wins, but he now has six career losses versus Texas.

PODCAST
Ron Washington on Matt Harrison's complete game and Craig Gentry's 5-for-5 night in the Rangers' 5-0 win over the Giants.

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Streaking: Harrison has won four consecutive starts. Harrison retired the first seven batters he faced before Brandon Crawford singled with one out in the third inning. Harrison entered the game hitless in his career at the plate, going 0-for-12. He was 0-for-2 Friday night with two sacrifice bunts.

Twos are wild: Kinsler hit the second pitch of the game for his second leadoff home run of the season and 22nd career leadoff home run.

Elvis: Elvis Andrus ended an 0-for-12 stretch with an eighth inning single.

A fan of interleague play: Hamilton brought a .362 career interleague batting average into Friday’s game. That’s the second highest all-time among players with at least 200 at-bats in interleague games. Hamilton was 1-for-5 on Friday night.

Career high: Gentry was 5-for-5. That’s a new career high in hits. He doubled in his first at-bat and followed with four singles. His batting average went from .301 to .341.

Once a Giant: Catcher Yorvit Torrealba played for the Giants from 2001-2005. He was the starting catcher Friday night and was 1-for-4.

The last time: The Rangers last played in San Francisco on October 28, 2010. That was Game 2 of the World Series when they lost 9-0. That loss ran the Rangers record to 0-11 at AT&T Park. The last Rangers win in San Francisco was in 1998.

Rotation turn: The Rangers decided to push back the next start for Yu Darvish to give him extra rest. He is scheduled to start the first game against Houston next Friday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Looking ahead: Following the San Francisco series, the Rangers continue interleague play Tuesday at home versus Arizona. There are good seats remaining for each game of that series. Then, the Rangers host the Astros in a three-game series. For Friday, there are 1,500 reserved seats remaining. For Saturday, there are scattered singles and obstructed view seats. Standing room only will go on sale early next week. For Sunday, there are 4,500 reserved seats remaining.

Matchup: Matt Harrison vs. Barry Zito

June, 8, 2012
6/08/12
2:00
PM CT


SAN FRANCISCO — The Texas Rangers open a three-game against the San Francisco Giants, the first regular-season meeting for the teams since the Giants beat the Rangers in the 2010 World Series. The opener features RHP Matt Harrison vs. LHP Barry Zito at 9:15 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and TX21. A quick look at the matchup:

PODCAST
Rangers play-by-play voice Eric Nadel dishes on the Rangers' sluggish lumber, the rotation issues, Josh Hamilton and his wife's recent comments and more.

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Harrison (7-3, 4.37): The 26-year-old stopped the Rangers’ four-game losing streak the last time he took the mound, beating the Los Angeles Angels. … Has won three consecutive starts, posting a 2.49 ERA in those games. … Has a 2.85 ERA in six starts at night, compared with 6.52 in five day games. … Is 2-2 with a 3.80 ERA in 10 career interleague starts. … Has no hits and one walk in 12 career plate appearances. … Has never faced the Giants.

Zito (5-2, 2.98): The 34-year-old is enjoying a career revival this season. … The 2002 AL Cy Young winner is a three-time All-Star. … Worked 8 1/3 scoreless innings in a victory over the Chicago Cubs in his previous start. … Has made seven quality starts in 11 outings. … Began the season with his first shutout in nine years. … Originally drafted by the Rangers in 1998 but did not sign. … Owns 18-5 record and 3.72 ERA against Texas, with 30 starts against the Rangers while pitching for the A’s. … Faced the Rangers once since joining the Giants, beating them in 2009.

Hitters: Current Giants are 4-for-16 against Harrison. … Aubrey Huff is 2-for 6-with a homer. … Rangers hitters have a career .229 average against Zito. … Nelson Cruz is 3-for-9 with two homers … Ian Kinsler is 1-for-12.

Up Next:

Sat at SF: RHP Scott Feldman (0-4, 7.01) vs. RHP Ryan Vogelsong (4-2, 2.38), 3:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW

Sun at SF: RHP Alexi Ogando (1-0, 2.27) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (2-6, 5.83), 3:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW

Return to San Francisco triggers World Series memories

June, 8, 2012
6/08/12
9:00
AM CT
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Texas Rangers will be playing in one of baseball’s most scenic ballparks in one of America’s most popular tourist destinations this weekend, but it’s certain to bring back some bad memories.

The last time the Rangers played in San Francisco’s AT&T Park they were losing the first two games of the 2010 World Series, on the way to losing the series in five games.

Before Thursday’s game in Oakland, Texas manager Ron Washington described the lingering memories of his last visit to San Francisco’s ballpark.

“What I remember about it is the Giants played as good of baseball in those as they could. They were supposed to be slow on defense and they made all the plays. They weren’t supposed to be very good hitters and they got a lot of clutch hits. They were hot at the right time and it showed in the way they performed against us.

“They did everything you could possibly do to win a World Series. They did it and did it well. (Edgar) Renteria wasn’t supposed to have range and he was roaming all over the place. His bat was supposed to be slow and he got some huge hits. They just played an almost a perfect World Series against us.”

The Rangers have never won a game at AT&T Park. Besides the two World Series losses, they are 0-9, having been swept in three regular-season series at the park, in 2000, 2006 and 2009.

Week ahead: Draft and Bay Area

June, 4, 2012
6/04/12
10:30
AM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers head to Oakland and San Francisco for a week, staying at the same hotel for seven consecutive nights, something they haven't done before. A few things to keep an eye on this week:

PODCAST
Is Ron Washington above criticism when he makes a decision? ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon says Jean-Jacques Taylor gives Wash a free pass and never questions him. JJT explains his stance and the guys discuss.

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* While the team will play games in California, the front office will be hard at work in Arlington during the MLB draft, which starts tonight. You can read more about that here on the blog the next three days.

* Until this latest run by the Angels, the A's were the second-place team in the AL West. But losing nine of the last 10 going into Sunday's action has them fighting with the Mariners for third place.

* Going into Sunday's games, Oakland's starting pitching has a 4.12 ERA, sixth in the AL. The Rangers, BTW, were at 3.94, third in the league. Oakland's bullpen, however, is second in the AL at 2.76 ERA (Rangers are fourth at 2.82).

* The weekend sets up a rematch of the 2010 World Series and the first time, outside of spring training in Arizona, that the two teams have faced each other since that Game 5 in Arlington. San Francisco remains second in the NL West, trying to track down the Los Angeles Dodgers.

* Scott Feldman will get two starts this week as he continues to hold down the spot vacated by Neftali Feliz because of injury. While Feldman pitches, Roy Oswalt continues to stretch out as he hopes to stay on pace for an arrival in the rotation for around June 20.

* Texas was 6-4 at Oakland in 2011 (and 7-2 against the A's at home).

* The last time they played the Giants in the regular season was 2009. The club was swept in a three-game series at AT&T Park.

Rapid Reaction: Matt Harrison looks sharp

March, 29, 2012
3/29/12
10:54
PM CT


SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Matt Harrison certainly looks ready for the 2012 season.

The 26-year-old, who was named the No. 3 starter on Thursday, looked the part of an upper-rotation hurler in the Rangers' 6-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants at Surprise Stadium.

Harrison had all of his pitches working, firing fastballs at 94-95 mph, mixing in an effective curve and changeup and getting ground balls off his slider/cutter.

"I was being aggressive, and that's what worked for me last year, so I'm trying to do that," Harrison said. "I'll come right at you."

Harrison gave up one unearned run on six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in six innings. He threw 91 pitches, 64 of them strikes. Harrison's fastball command was solid to both sides of the plate and his off-speed stuff was getting swings and misses Thursday. He now has 14 strikeouts in 16 Cactus League innings. Only Scott Feldman has more (20), and he's done it in 20 innings. Harrison is averaging .875 strikeouts per inning this spring. He averaged .681 last season and has never been a big strikeout pitcher. We'll see if that changes this season.

"I'd rather him get early ground ball outs and stay in there longer," catcher Mike Napoli said.

Harrison agreed. The bottom line: He worked quickly and efficiently and got outs. All 18 of his outs were ground balls, popups to infielders (some of those in the shallow part of the outfield) or strikeouts. He gave up one extra-base, a two-out double to Aubrey Huff in the sixth inning.

"Strikeouts are good, but the main fact of the matter is I'm trying to get outs as quickly as possible," Harrison said. "If strikeouts happen, they happen. I'm not trying to get a strikeout, I'm trying to pitch to contact. I think the more I've been trying to do that the more I've been throwing pitches to get ahead, and the strikeouts have increased."

Utility battle: Both Alberto Gonzalez (2B) and Luis Hernandez (SS) played Thursday, but neither had a particularly memorable night at the plate (a combined 0-for-5). Hernandez had a throwing error with one out in the third, helping the Giants score their first run. But two batters later, Hernandez dove toward the second-base bag and gloved a grounder, starting an inning-ending double play. He ended up with another error in the seventh when he wasn't able to glove a throw and tag a runner out at third.

Long ball: Napoli hit a home run to left-center field. It was his third homer of spring and his third in as many days. Napoli appears to be finding his stroke late in spring. He's expected to catch again Friday, giving him a chance to test his ankle in back-to-back games again.

Last game: Brad Hawpe, from Fort Worth, played his final game for the Rangers. The club released him after the game (they had until 11 a.m. central time Friday to sign or release him). It wasn't because of his bat. Hawpe had actually been swinging pretty well. But he still can't make throws from the outfield, which hurts his value for the club at this time. And he's a left-handed hitter. The team remains in the market for a right-handed hitter who can play the outfield. Hawpe was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts Thursday against the Giants.

Hit-and-run attempt: With David Murphy at first base after a walk in the third, the Rangers put on a hit-and-run with Gonzalez at the plate. The Giants pitched out and Gonzalez still made a swing at the pitch, but missed. Murphy was thrown out at second base.

Drought ender: First baseman Mitch Moreland hit a long home run to right field. It was Moreland's first homer since he went deep in the first Cactus League game of the spring for Texas. Moreland was batting .265 coming into the game.

Tateyama gives up lead: After Harrison left after six innings with the Rangers up 2-1, Yoshinori Tateyama couldn't hold the lead. He allowed three runs in the seventh (two of them earned) on four hits. It's the second straight outing that Tateyama has been hit hard. The final three spots in the bullpen are between a left-hander (Robbie Ross, Neal Cotts, Michael Kirkman) and two of these three: Koji Uehara, Tateyama and Mark Lowe. Read more here.

"I thought he was better than his line," Washington said. "We didn't make some plays behind him."

Uehara gives up HR: The reliever came into the game having allowed three home runs this spring (with a 12.27 ERA) and surrendered one to former Ranger Joaquin Arias. Arias isn't exactly a power hitter. But after that, Uehara got the next three batters he faced (two ground balls and a strikeout) and broke two bats in the process.

Uehara allowed five homers in 18 regular season innings for the Rangers last season and then surrendered three more in the postseason. He gave up six homers in 47 innings with the Orioles before the trade. He now has four homers allowed in 8 1/3 Cactus League innings in 2012.

"He got one up to Joaquin and he didn't miss it," Washington said. "He settled down and got the next three out."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Colby Lewis
WINS ERA SO IP
10 5.34 126 163
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .323
HRA. Beltre 18
RBIA. Beltre 75
RA. Beltre 77
OPSA. Beltre .876
ERAC. Lewis 5.34
SOY. Darvish 182