ARLINGTON TX - OCTOBER 22: Colby Lewis #48 of the Texas Rangers gets set to throw a pitch against the New York Yankees in Game Six of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22 2010 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Colby Lewis

Rangers Use Thrilling Comeback To Take Two Of Three From Royals

Despite taking a loss in his last start, Colby Lewis has pitched well in his last five starts dating back to April 30. Lewis will look to make it six good starts in a row against Kansas City on Friday night.

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Rangers Vs. Royals: Alexi Ogando Looks To Improve To 6-0

(Sports Network) – Alexi Ogando tries to continue his amazing start to the season this afternoon when the Texas Rangers close out a three-game set with the Kansas City Royals at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

In his first year as a starter Ogando has posted a 5-0 mark to go along with a 1.81 earned run average. The impressive start has followed up a spectacular rookie campaign in 2010 that saw him go 4-1 with a 1.30 ERA in 44 relief appearances.

Ogando’s most recent win over the Chicago White Sox was his best yet, as he tossed a five-hit shutout. He also struck out six, walked three and threw 115 pitches in the first complete game of his career.

“Ogando did an excellent job,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “He did an excellent job controlling the [White Sox bats]. Those guys can swing the bats and he kept the ball in play and the defense made plays behind him.”

The gem was the first shutout by a Rangers pitcher at the Ballpark since 2008 and it was also just the fifth by a Texas pitcher at home in the past 12 seasons. Ogando has now yielded two runs or less in all but one of his starts, and his ERA ranks second in the AL.

“Sometimes I don’t know how to express things, but this is like a blessing from God,” Ogando said. “That’s what it is. Every inning I’m learning more, getting more experience and getting more comfortable on the mound.”

Ogando did not get a decision against the Royals the last time he faced them, but is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three games (two starts) against them.

Texas scored early and often on Saturday, as Mitch Moreland, Mike Napoli and Endy Chavez hit consecutive home runs off Sean O’Sullivan in the second inning, all part of the Rangers’ 10-1 rout.

Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz also went deep off O’Sullivan (2-4), who was pounded for 15 hits and 10 runs over 5 2/3 innings. It was the third straight rough start for the right-hander. During that span he’s allowed 31 hits and 23 earned runs, raising his season ERA nearly three whole runs to a current 6.75.

“I tried to get as many outs as I could knowing how deep our bullpen had to go recently,” O’Sullivan said. “It was about as fun as it looked.”

Beltre finished with three RBI and Napoli drove in two for the Rangers, who bounced back from a 12-7 loss in 14 innings on Friday.

The strong offensive showing made a winner of Matt Harrison (5-4). He yielded five hits over six shutout innings and has won two straight starts after losing four consecutive decisions. He left the game, though, with a blister on his pitching hand.

“The last time I had a blister was probably five years ago,” Harrison said. “I don’t know if it had anything to do with it being so humid out there today. I kept touching my hat and finger’s getting wet, rubbing the on the seams it probably popped up.”

Matt Treanor drove in the lone run for Kansas City, which lost for the sixth time in its last seven games.

Kansas City will hand the ball to a young hurler of its own this afternoon in left-hander Danny Duffy, who will be making the third start of his career, but the second already against the Rangers.

In his big league debut on May 18 Duffy gave up two runs and four hits in four innings to the Rangers in his team’s 5-4 loss. He also surrendered two runs in 5 1/3 innings in Baltimore his next time out.

The Rangers have won 15 of their past 20 versus Kansas City, including a 5-2 mark versus the Royals this year.

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Rangers Vs. Royals: Saturday Lineups

Per Calvin Watkins, ESPN.

Texas vs. RHP Sean O'Sullivan

  1. 2B Ian Kinsler
  2. SS Elvis Andrus
  3. LF Josh Hamilton
  4. DH Michael Young
  5. 3B Adrian Beltre
  6. RF Nelson Cruz
  7. 1B Mitch Moreland
  8. C Mike Napoli
  9. CF Endy Chavez

Kansas City vs. LHP Matt Harrison

  1. LF Alex Gordon
  2. CF Melky Cabrera
  3. 1B Eric Hosmer
  4. RF Jeff Francoeur
  5. DH Billy Butler
  6. 3B Wilson Betemit
  7. 2B Mike Aviles
  8. C Matt Treanor
  9. SS Alcides Escobar

Josh Hamilton returns to the field for the first time since his injury, improving the defense by moving Nelson Cruz to his natural position, and taking Mitch Moreland out of the outfield. The Rangers likely have deemed Hamilton healthy enough to move away from designated hitter.

Also improving the defense is the replacement of David Murphy with Endy Chavez. No word yet on whether or not Murphy's two defensive gaffes in the first inning Friday played a factor in the decision, or if it is just a regular day off. The answer will probably come tomorrow.

Chavez is likely a solid step behind Craig Gentry as a fielder at this point, but with a right hander on the mound, the lefty Chavez represents likely a sizable offensive upgrade over the righty Gentry, and, unlike Murphy, he can handle center.

Yorvit Torrealba also gets a day off tonight in favor of Mike Napoli's superior bat.

Of note, the Royals top three -- who killed the Rangers in Friday's loss -- offer a strong platoon advantage for Matt Harrison, with two lefties and one switch hitter, Melky Cabrera, who hits better from the left side of the plate. Kansas City's other switch hitter, Wilson Betemit, also struggles more against left handed pitching than the reverse.

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Nightmare

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Rangers Vs. Royals: Friday Lineups

Per Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star Telegram.

Texas vs. RHP Nate Adcock

  1. 2B Ian Kinsler
  2. SS Elvis Andrus
  3. DH Josh Hamilton
  4. 1B Michael Young
  5. 3B Adrian Beltre
  6. LF Nelson Cruz
  7. CF David Murphy
  8. C Yorvit Torrealba
  9. RF Mitch Moreland

Kansas City vs. RHP Colby Lewis

  1. LF Alex Gordon
  2. CF Melky Cabrera
  3. 1B Eric Hosmer
  4. RF Jeff Francoeur
  5. DH Billy Butler
  6. 3B Wilson Betemit
  7. C Matt Treanor
  8. 2B Chris Getz
  9. SS Alcides Escobar

The Rangers continue to make certain Josh Hamilton stays healthy and eases back in to the lineup via DH, but that means more sketchy defensive lineups, with Murphy in center and Moreland in right, until Borbon can come back. This could be interesting with the fly ball-friendly Lewis facing a lineup with five lefties (including switch hitters).

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Rangers Vs. Royals: Colby Lewis Looks To Stay Hot

The Texas Rangers take on the Kansas City Royals on Friday night in Arlington as Colby Lewis looks to even up his record at 5-5.

Lewis pitched poorly to start the season, going 2-3 with a 5.70 ERA in the month of April, walking 11 and striking out 20 in 30 innings. More concerning, Lewis gave up 10 home runs in the month of April alone. May has been much kinder to Lewis, as he's gone 2-2 with a 1.74 ERA, walking only five while striking out 24 in 31 innings. Further, Lewis has only allowed three home runs in May.

Lewis will be opposed by Nate Adcock, who will be making his second start of the season. Adcock has made eight appearances out of the pen in addition to his one start, all in all totaling 21.2 innings pitched. Adcock has allowed 22 hits and issued six walks - and has only struck out 12 batters. His 1.66 ERA appears to be in serious jeopardy tonight against the Rangers.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CDT. 

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