Texas Rangers: Stephen Drew
Harrison (8-3, 3.87): The 26-year-old has the best record of any Rangers starter and is tied for the AL lead in wins. ... He has won four straight, including his complete-game shutout in Friday's win over the San Francisco Giants. ... He has pitched his best ball at night, posting a 2.34 ERA and a 6-1 record through 50 innings in night games, compared to a 6.52 ERA and 2-2 record in day games. ... He leads the Rangers in hits allowed (81). ... He has a 4.45 ERA at home, allowing 37 hits, 16 runs, and eight walks through 30 1/3 innings. ... He lost his only career start vs. the D-backs in Arizona in 2009 (3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 7 R-ER). ... He is 3-2 career with a 3.17 ERA in 11 interleague games.
Miley (7-2, 2.53): The 25-year-old leads the D-backs in wins (tied for third in the NL) and ERA (ninth in the NL). ... He has won four of his last five starts, allowing more than one run only once in that stretch. ... He is 3-0 in day games, posting a 0.00 ERA through 17 1/3 innings compared to a 4-2 record and 3.40 ERA through 50 1/3 innings at night. ... He has pitched best on the road, going 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA and 22 strikeouts through 36 1/3 innings. ... He has never faced the Rangers.
Hitters: D-back hitters are 8-for-26 against Harrison. ... Justin Upton is 1-for-2 with a home run and two RBIs. ... Stephen Drew is 2-for-3 with an RBI and a strikeout. ... Miley has only faced two current Rangers, allowing two hits in three at-bats. ... Alberto Gonzalez is 1-for-1 with an RBI. ... Luis Martinez is 1-for-2 with a walk.
Up Next: Thu. vs. Ari.: RHP Scott Feldman (0-5, 6.39) vs. RHP Daniel Hudson (2-1, 6.06), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM, FSSW.
For Kinsler, it was his fourth dinger of the spring and his second leading off.
He hit nine homers last season in 103 games. He hit 49 in 2008 and 2009 combined. But, he also drew criticism for an uppercut swing that made it seem as though he was trying to put it out of the park every time at the plate no matter the situation. That changed last season as Kinsler worked to reduce the uppercut and hit more balls on a line.
As 2011 approaches with Kinsler in the lead-off spot, can he successfully mix a power stroke with the kind of patience he showed in the postseason?
"I just want him to set the stage and set the table for us," manager Ron Washington said. "And there will be days when that table is going to be set where he catches one and takes it out of the ballpark. Am I looking for him to hit 30-something bombs? No. If that happens I'll take it."
So far in the spring, four of Kinsler's seven hits for a .545 average, have left the ballpark. They've also almost been exclusively line-drive shots.
"I don't see that uppercut swing," Washington said. "I see a short, crisp path to the baseball. I think that's what every hitter is looking for. That's what I see down here. I don't see an uppercut. Will that come into play? I'm quite sure at some point it will when he gets tired, but I just want Ian to be Ian and play baseball the way he's capable of playing baseball."
*Starting pitcher Colby Lewis had control issues in the first and third innings. throwing a high number of changeups, he gave up two runs in the first inning and was helped out of the game by a stellar throw from Nelson Cruz to gun down Stephen Drew at the plate to end the first inning. Lewis walked three and surrendered four hits in the.
*Left-handed hopeful Michael Kirkman threw a solid three scoreless innings after Lewis. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out one. He got out of a two-on, two-out jam in the third inning and then pitched to the minimum six batters over his next two innings thanks to catcher Yorvit Torrealba throwing out a base stealer at second. "His breaking ball was pretty good today and he was able to keep his fastball and spot it down, so he did a good job."
*Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz are off to slow starts with the bat, but neither appears to be too worried about it. Hamilton is stuck on one hit for the spring after going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts Saturday to drop his averag to .083. Cruz is batting .154 after going 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
*Ryan Tucker took the loss, giving up the game-winning run on two hits in the bottom of the ninth. It was the first run allowed by Rangers relievers in two games. After the A's touched up C.J. Wilson for three runs in the first inning of Friday's game, four pitchers went the final six innings without giving up a run. On Saturday, Kirkman, Darren O'Day (one inning) and Pedro Strop (one inning) pitched five scoreless innings without allowing a run.
The Diamondbacks tied it up in the bottom of the first, but right-hander Colby Lewis caught a break thanks to the power arm of right fielder Nelson Cruz. Cruz picked up a Geoff Blum single off the hop and gunned down Stephen Drew attempting to score from second base. Cruz got him in plenty of time.
Lewis struggled in his first of a scheduled three innings, giving up a run on two hits and two walks. He struck out one.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.