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Rangers Play Host To Twins As Trade Deadline Approaches

The Texas Rangers open up a series with the Minnesota Twins on Monday night in Arlington as Texas looks to extend their AL West lead over the Los Angeles Angels as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches. The Rangers currently hold a three game advantage over the Angels. 

The series against the Twins may be one of the last with the current version of the Rangers, as Texas has been rumored to be after Carlos Beltran of the New York Mets, Heath Bell and Mike Adams of the San Diego Padres as well as Koji Uehara of the Baltimore Orioles

Derek Holland takes the mound in the series opener on Monday night against the Twins. Holland, who not long ago was pitching for his spot in the rotation, had pitched a pair of complete game shutouts in consecutive starts before being knocked around by the Angels last Wednesday. Holland's record sits at 8-4, but the inconsistent lefty holds a 1.44 WHIP, .275 BAA and 4.65 ERA headed into tonight's contest. 

Nick Blackburn is scheduled to start for the Twins, as they slowly try to crawl back into the AL Central race. Blackburn is 7-6 on the year with a 3.87 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and 68 strikeouts in 123.1 innings of work.

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

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