Series Preview: Rangers/Athletics

The Rangers head west for the first series in a week of games against division foes. Will they end up buried further down the American League West? Lone Star Dugout takes a look.

Rangers (18-32) at Oakland A's (24-25)

Monday, 9:05 PM: Robinson Tejeda (4-4, 5.18) vs. Chad Gaudin (4-1, 2.58)

Tejeda was pulled after throwing 86 pitches on Wednesday, an enormous amount for just 3 innings of work. Down 3-2 at the time, the bullpen didn't help matters any and Tejeda saw his earned run average balloon to over 5.00. Still, Tejeda's three walks in the game brought his amount of strikeouts and walks to an even 10 of each over his last three starts. Prior to that, he had fanned 19 while walking only two. He pickd up a no decision in his last start against the A's back on April 22nd. In that game, Tejeda struck out six but allowed nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. He's undefeated in two career starts in Oakland and has only allowed one unearned run in 12 2/3 innings of work. He'll be opposed by a hot pitcher in Chad Gaudin, who recently turned in an outstanding performance against the Chicago White Sox. Gaudin allowed a leadoff single to begin the second inning, then proceeded to retire the next 16 Chicago hitters in order before walking a man in the seventh. His 7 1/3 innings of shutout ball marked the eighth time he's allowed two or fewer earned runs in 10 starts this season.

Tuesday, 9:05: Mike Wood (0-1, 7.02) vs. Lenny DiNardo (1-1, 1.83)
Wood will be optioned back up from Triple-A Oklahoma to make hopefully a final spot start for the rehabbing Kevin Millwood. Wood, who was originally drafted by the A's in 2001, is 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA in three starts against his former team. Lenny DiNardo pitched a scoreless 4 2/3 innings in relief of Colby Lewis last Tuesday and was rewarded with his first start in an A's uniform. DiNardo made seven starts for the Red Sox from 2004-2006. In 19 2/3 innings over 11 appearances, DiNardo has walked four and struck out 12.

Wednesday, 2:35: Brandon McCarthy (4-4, 6.35) vs. Dan Haren (5-2, 1.70)
McCarthy's status for this game is an extremely iffy one. The Rangers have another bullpen session scheduled for Monday afternoon to see how the righty responds to blister issues that caused him to leave his last start early. He had been riding a three game winning streak coming into the game, but 47-pitch second inning that included four walks and four earned runs helped seal his fate. Haren has been very tough as of late, going 5-0 over his last eight starts. He's also allowed two runs or fewer in 10 of his last 11 starts. In his most recent start Friday against the Orioles, Haren held the O's bats to two hits over seven innings and retired 18 of the last 20 batters he faced. He's struggled historically against the Rangers and is 2-3 with a 4.57 earned run average against them.

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