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Rangers Open Four Game Set With Oakland To End First Half

Fresh off of a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles, the Texas Rangers are set to open up a four game series playing host to the Oakland Athletics

The Rangers head into the series with an eight game lead over the last place Athletics, but they only hold a one game lead over the Angels and three and a half game lead over the Mariners

Texas will send Derek Holland to the mound on Thursday night as he looks to correct his recent woes. Holland has been extremely inconsistent this year - and simply awful as of late. Holland has given up 16 hits in his last two starts, and failed to escape the first inning in his most recent start against the Florida Marlins. While Holland's record sits at 6-4, his 5.10 ERA and 1.54 WHIP are much, much more indicative as to the pitcher he has been this season. If Holland scuffles again tonight against Oakland, he could lose his spot in the rotation to Scott Feldman, who has been rehabbing in the minors.

Texas' offense will face a familiar face: Rich Harden. Harden spent some time with the Rangers last year and was for the most part ineffective. He's made just one start for Oakland this year, so it's tough to really gauge which Harden will show up tonight - the ineffective Harden, the dominant Harden, or the injured Harden. I'll put my money on all three in the same game.

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.