Series Preview: Mariners/Rangers

This week, the Rangers will close out their final homestand in the month of July with a series against the hard-charging Seattle Mariners. Lone Star Dugout has a look at the pitching matchups in this four game set.

Mariners (54-41) at Rangers (42-56)

Monday, 7:05 PM: Horacio Ramirez, LHP (5-2, 5.89) vs. Kevin Millwood (6-8, 5.50)
In his last time out, an errant throw to second by Kevin Millwood proved to be the undoing of the Rangers in a 6-0 loss to Oakland. As a result, Millwood was put in a bases loaded, no out situation that he couldn't get out of unscathed. Although he was tagged for the loss, that one inning proved to be the only real blemish on his West Coast afternoon. Overall, Millwood is 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA in his last seven starts and won his last three starts at home after going 1-3, 9.87 in his first four home starts this season.

Horacio Ramirez recently returned to the Mariners rotation for the first time in nearly two months, and showed no signs of rust at all. The southpaw went a season-high seven innings, allowing just two runs on five hits in a victory over the Orioles – who were also without their two best hitters in Miguel Tejada and Melvin Mora. But while that achievement came during an outing in his home ballpark, he's had a much bumpier ride on the road this season: In four road starts, Ramirez is 0-2 with an atmospheric 13.21 ERA.

Tuesday, 4:05 PM: Ryan Feierabend (1-3, 9.31) vs. John Rheinecker (0-0, 12.00)
Because of some tweaking needed in the rotation due to some upcoming off-days, the Rangers will be giving John Rheinecker a call from Triple-A to make the first start of Tuesday's double-dip against the Mariners. The southpaw, if you'll remember, gave a valiant effort for his first complete game in the majors in his first start at home on May 29th of last year. He finished two outs shy of it, but still picked up his first major league victory in a brisk two-hour ballgame. In a spot start against Seattle earlier this season, Rheinecker allowed four runs on seven hits and took a no-decision in a three inning outing. He's gone 4-2 with a 3.57 ERA in 9 starts for the Redhawks.

After optioning Ryan Feierabend to Triple-A Tacoma 10 days ago, he's back, and reportedly will be called upon to take the hill in the first game for the Mariners. When we last saw him in the majors, opposing batters were hitting a svelte .339 against him and the young lefty had a very high 9.31 ERA as a result. In his most recent minor league start, Feierabend went six innings against Salt Lake, allowing five runs on 10 hits. He's 2-3 with a 4.43 ERA the Rainiers.

Game 2: Jarrod Washburn (8-7, 4.02) vs. Kameron Loe (5-8, 5.69)
It was a very devilish start last week for Kameron Loe. In a loss last against the Indians last Thursday, Loe went six innings, allowing six runs on six hits. His biggest problem of the night occurred in the second inning when the first four Cleveland batters reached base and eventually scored. Against the Mariners this season, Loe is 0-1 with a 7.56 ERA in two games. His lifetime numbers get better, he is 2-1 with a 3.76 ERA in eight games.

The one homerun Jarrod Washburn has allowed on the road was a big one – a grand slam to Mike Lamb of the Astros last month. But that's been the only one over the last 44 2/3 innings of work. His last start was a Jekyll and Hyde sort of outing that had Washburn allowing just one run through the first five innings, before coughing up a four run lead late in the game and leaving his outing with a chance of taking the loss. The Mariners, however, would rally and steal a victory away from the Orioles. He's a career 7-7 pitcher with a 4.28 ERA in 25 games against the Rangers.

Wednesday, 7:35 PM: Miguel Batista (10-7, 4.32) vs. Brandon McCarthy (4-7, 5.53)
After taking a loss in his last outing, McCarthy still finds himself winless since the month of May. But with just two runs in his last six starts, the Rangers certainly haven't given the righthander much run support at all. In a start earlier this year, McCarthy allowed six runs on six hits and was gone after just two innings. His 12.71 earned run average against Seattle is the highest against any team.

Miguel Batista has been one of the biggest reasons why the Mariners find themselves just two games behind the Angels for the lead in the West. Although he sometimes works his way into problems, like throwing 12 straight balls to open an inning in his most recent start, he's always capable of finding his way out of it. Batista is 2-0 against the Rangers this season, beating them 8-3 back in April of this season.

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