for this game

Harrison outduels Saunders to win major league debut

Jul 9, 2008 - 5:36 AM By Jay Miller PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) -- Less than a month ago, Matt Harrison and Chris Davis were taking turns making noise in the minors. On Tuesday, each took on lead roles in keeping the Texas Rangers in the American League West race.

Harrison won his major league debut and Davis clubbed his fifth homer, sending the Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Harrison filled Rangers fans and brass with a great deal of optimism in his first four innings of work, allowing only one hit and facing the minimum number of Angels in the process. For the game, the lefthander yielded two runs and five hits over seven innings, walking one and striking out one.

"I thought he was outstanding; he stayed off the middle of the plate, used his secondary pitches very well and he was in control," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "He had good poise, mound awareness and threw to the gameplan to perfection."

After a 56-minute rain delay, Harrison - who was acquired in 2007 from the Atlanta Braves in the Mark Teixeira deal - went toe-to-toe with Joe Saunders (12-5), the American League leader in wins. The Angels' lefthander took the loss despite logging his first career complete game.

"It calmed my nerves a little bit more," Harrison said in regards to the rain delay. "I talked to other pitchers today and they said be aggressive and throw strikes. ... I don't really look at who I'm pitching against. I just want to go out and throw the same way every time."

Davis sparked some good feelings in the fifth when he jumped on a 2-2 fastball and sent it into the center-field lawn for his fifth home run in his 12th game in the majors to knot the score at 2-2.

"They're coming in bunches," Davis said of his fourth home run in as many starts at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. "If you get the ball up here, it'll go. You see that quite a bit with power hitters here. I'm not complaining."

Just last month, Davis - who made his debut on June 26 - and Harrison, who was recalled earlier Tuesday - were both doing their best to make bids to join Texas after proving their worth with Class AAA Oklahoma.

"I definitely went (further) in the game than I thought I would," Harrison said. "I was more in the strike zone than I have been in the past few games and things really went my way tonight."

Before their recalls, Davis was leading the minors with 33 homers while Harrison went 3-1 with a 3.55 ERA in six starts with Oklahoma.

After Davis' blast tied the game, the Rangers took the lead for good in the next inning.

Ian Kinsler opened the sixth with a double, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 20 games. Two batters later, he scored on a RBI single by Josh Hamilton, tying a team record by scoring in 11 consecutive games.

Eddie Guardado relieved Harrison and pitched a perfect eighth before closer C.J. Wilson worked around a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his 22nd save in 24 chances.

"I wasn't really worried about getting out of it," Wilson said. "The ball was cutting a little bit more on me and when I'm cutting my changeup, then I'm not really doing my job. ... I'm just trying to get the physical and mental to line up, which isn't always easy to do."

The win moved the Rangers to within 7.5 games of Anaheim (54-36) and moved them to three games over .500 (47-44) for the third time this season - the club's high-water mark on the year.

"I don't think this series makes or breaks us," Kinsler said. "It's an important series but, right now, we're just trying to win as many games as we can, regardless of who is on the other side."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA ANGELS 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
    TEXAS 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 x 3 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: LAA - JOE SAUNDERS AND JEFF MATHIS
    TEX - MATT HARRISON, C.J. WILSON (9TH) AND JARROD
    SALTALAMACCHIA

    HOME RUNS: LAA - NONE
    TEX - CHRIS DAVIS (5) OFF JOE SAUNDERS IN

    Jul 8 11:16 PM
  • 73
    roots
    Jamesiae Added 5 roots

    Angels 2, Rangers 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 8 10:41 PM
  • 68
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Angels 2, Rangers 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 8 10:41 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSH HAMILTON SCORED IAN KINSLER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J HAMILTON ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    TEXAS 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M BRADLEY (.317, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels 2, Rangers 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 8 10:29 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CHRIS DAVIS (5) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF JOE SAUNDERS.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2, TEXAS 2
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G DURAN (.226, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels 2, Rangers 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 8 10:14 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 33 roots

    Angels 2, Rangers 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 8 10:14 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GARRET ANDERSON SCORED TORII HUNTER AND HOWIE
    KENDRICK.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G ANDERSON ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    TEXAS 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: R QUINLAN (.267, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels 2, Rangers 1  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 8 10:01 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JOSH HAMILTON SCORED MICHAEL YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 0
    TEXAS 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M BRADLEY (.319, 17 HR, 54 RBI)

    Angels 0, Rangers 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 8 9:14 PM