(Sports Network) - Fresh off Friday's acquisition of star pitcher Cliff Lee, the first-place Texas Rangers continue their four-game series against the lowly Baltimore Orioles in Arlington tonight.
It appeared that the New York Yankees had a deal in place to attain Lee, but when talks fell through the Rangers shocked everyone by making the right offer to Seattle to garner their new ace. Texas sent prized first baseman Justin Smoak as well as three minor leaguers to the Mariners to nab Lee, an impending free agent at season's end, as well as relief pitcher Mark Lowe.
"When you get traded, there is uncertainty and you don't know what to expect," Lee said while addressing the Seattle media. "[The Rangers] have a great team, they're in first place and I'm going to do everything I can to help them continue in the direction they're heading."
This is the fourth team that Lee will play for in less than two years. He started the 2009 season with Cleveland before moving on to Philadelphia.
Lee is expected to get the ball right away, as he is the scheduled starter for the Rangers tonight. He has been one of baseball's best hurlers this season, compiling an 8-3 record with a 2.34 ERA and five complete games. He has only walked six batters in 103 2/3 innings and is coming off a win against Detroit in which he allowed just one earned run in eight innings.
The All-Star lefty is 1-0 this season against Baltimore and 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA in his career versus the Orioles.
Chris Tillman is expected to make Kevin Millwood's scheduled start today for Baltimore. Tillman, who was sent down to Triple-A Norfolk last month, tossed a complete-game one-hit shutout for the Tides on Monday. He allowed just 10 hits in 21 2/3 innings since being demoted and has seemingly righted the ship.
Tillman is 0-3 with an 8.40 ERA at the major league level this season. In his career against Texas, the righty is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA.
Millwood was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday due to a strained right forearm.
Yesterday, Jake Fox homered off Dustin Nippert in the 10th inning after Corey Patterson's grand slam tied it in the ninth, giving the Orioles an improbable 7-6 come-from-behind win to spoil the Rangers' big day.
Patterson put the finishing touches on his four-hit night with a no-doubt, grand slam off Neftali Feliz to tie the score at 6-6.
Jason Berken (2-1) tossed a scoreless ninth and was credited with the win, Baltimore's second in a row over the first-place Rangers on the heels of a 1-6 stretch coming into this series.
Vladimir Guerrero hit a three-run home run for the Rangers, whose lead over second-place Anaheim in the AL West was reduced to 4 1/2 games after the Angels defeated Oakland on Friday.
Nippert (3-4) took the loss, Texas' fourth in six games, while starting pitcher Scott Feldman allowed two runs on eight hits in a seven-plus inning start.
Rangers' outfielder Josh Hamilton extended his home hitting streak to 29 games by going 3-for-5. Unfortunately, Texas went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 men.
Texas swept a brief two-game series from the Orioles in Arlington earlier in the year and has won seven of the last 12 overall meetings between the teams.