Series Preview: White Sox/Rangers

The slumping Chicago White Sox pay a visit to Arlington this week for a series against the Rangers. Lone Star Dugout has a preview of the pitching matchups for this three game set.

Rangers (58-72) vs. White Sox (57-74)

Tuesday, 7:35 PM: Gavin Floyd (1-2, 7.36) vs. Kason Gabbard (6-1, 3.65)

Kason Gabbard will look to continue his flawless home record with a start tonight against a scuffling White Sox club. He's still undefeated at his "home" ballpark this season, whether it's been Fenway or in Arlington. Gabbard came into his last start in Baltimore hoping to put a brief scare over some forearm stiffness behind him and did, though I suppose it helps when your offense generates 30 runs in support of you. As a member of the Red Sox, Gabbard has faced the White Sox once this year and picked up a victory back on July 21st, allowing a run on three hits in seven innings of work. Opponents are hitting .225 off him this season, and he's kept left-handed hitters at bay with a .207 average.

The Sox will counter with Gavin Floyd, who's being used for a spot start due to the clubs concern over the amount of innings John Danks is getting this season. But the 24-year old hasn't had much to cheer about: As a relief pitcher, he owns a 6.39 ERA in six appearances and a 7.97 ERA in four starts this season. Among his troubles, the righty has allowed 12 homeruns among his 46 hits he's given up in just 33 innings.

Wednesday, 7:35 PM: Jon Garland (8-10, 4.90) vs. Kameron Loe (6-10, 5.53)
Despite struggling again last week, because of the Rangers moving John Rheinecker to the bullpen, Kameron Loe will likely remain in the rotation for the remainder of the season. It looked like he was having an easy enough time against the Mariners on Thursday, but things fell apart for him when Seattle plated seven runs in their half of the sixth inning. The problem, according to the big righthander, was that he relied on his sinking fastball too much rather than mixing things up with an occasional curveball and slider. Loe is 1-1 with a 5.00 ERA in four games lifetime against the White Sox.

Last weekend, Jon Garland lost his third straight decision to a Boston Red Sox club that swept the White Sox out of their home park. The loss also bumped his August earned run average up to an astronomically high 7.63 since the beginning of July, a truly odd number for a usually good pitcher. Garland also went on the defensive after his manager Ozzie Guillen suggested the righty isn't attacking hitters with his usual aggressiveness. He's 4-7 lifetime against the Rangers with a 7.28 ERA in eight games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Thursday, 7:35 PM: John Danks (6-12, 5.51) vs. Kevin Millwood (8-11, 5.31)
Despite allowing just five runs over his last 15 2/3 innings, Kevin Millwood couldn't buy a win against the Twins or Mariners. He pitched 8 2/3 against Seattle on Friday, the longest outing by a Ranger pitcher this season, but the offense couldn't generate enough offense off Felix Hernandez. Before that, it was Johan Santana who shut the Rangers bats down with his dominating 17 strikeout performance in Minneapolis. Millwood is 6-4 with a 5.18 ERA in 11 starts at home this year, but is 0-3 despite a 2.31 ERA in six career starts against the White Sox.

John Danks will find himself back in Texas on Thursday evening facing the team that sent him up through the farm system. But after a start to the season that showed plenty of promise, Danks is the not-so-proud owner of an 0-6 record with a 7.42 ERA over his past seven starts. He hasn't smelled a win since he last recorded one back on July 16th. Aside from one appearance during Spring Training, this will be his first start against his former organization.

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