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Wilson, Rangers Look To Avoid Sweep

(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers, who continue to lead the American League West, will close out a four-game weekend series with the lowly Baltimore Orioles today in Arlington.

The Orioles may have the worst record in baseball at 28-59, but they've taken the first three games of this set with the division-leading Rangers. On Saturday, young Chris Tillman overshadowed the much-anticipated Texas debut of Cliff Lee with 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball as Baltimore clinched its first road series win of 2010 with a 6-1 victory.

Tillman (1-3), who came into the game with an 8.40 earned run average and was recalled from the minors on Saturday, carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and allowed just two hits and one walk while fanning three for Baltimore, which had gone 0-13-1 over its first 14 road series of 2010.

"With an outing like that, I felt like I made a statement to prove that I belong here," said Tillman. "From my first warmup pitch in the bullpen I felt I had it going with all four of my pitches."

Nick Markakis, Cesar Izturis and Adam Jones all homered in the victory.

Lee (8-4) had a less than spectacular debut with his new club, giving up six runs and nine hits in a complete-game effort -- his sixth of the year and fifth in his last seven contests. The Orioles attacked him early in the count, as evidenced by his 95 pitches thrown and 73 for strikes.

"They were really aggressive and it was pretty obvious early," said Lee. "I made a couple of mistakes and I need to do a better job of getting the ball down, keeping from going over the plate."

The All-Star lefty was acquired on Friday in a deal with division-rival Seattle as the Rangers make a push for their first playoff appearance since 1999. It is Lee's fourth team in two seasons, and he will head for free agency in the offseason barring a long-term agreement with Texas.

David Murphy scored the Rangers' lone run on a wild pitch as Texas lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Baltimore righty Jake Arrieta, who is slated to pitch today, was in line to win his third game of the season on Tuesday, but the Orioles' bullpen allowed a lead to slip away. Arrieta surrendered just one earned run in 6 1/3 innings against Detroit on Tuesday, and will get back on the mound this afternoon in an attempt to improve on his 2-2 record and 4.96 ERA.

With two quality starts in a row under his belt, expect a confident hurler today. It is certainly worth mentioning, however, that Arrieta still has more walks (18) than strikeouts (17) this season.

Expected to pitch for Texas today is C.J. Wilson, who is 6-1 with a 3.38 ERA at home this season. Overall, he is 7-4 with an equally-impressive 3.24 ERA.

In his most recent start, Wilson picked up a victory over Cleveland on Tuesday by allowing one run in six innings. He has posted quality starts in five of his last six outings.

The Texas lefty has yet to face Baltimore this season and is 1-2 with a 7.50 ERA lifetime against the Orioles.

Texas swept a brief two-game series from the Orioles in Arlington earlier in the year and has won seven of th

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.