Josh Hamilton hopes to return to the lineup Tuesday when the Texas Rangershost the Seattle Mariners in the second contest of a three-game series. Hamilton missed Monday’s game with an upper respiratory infection and said he has been feeling ill for 10 days. He leads the majors with 20 homers and 53 RBIs. Seattle has lost five consecutive games and is 11 games behind the first-place Rangers in the American League West.
Texas posted a 4-2 victory in Monday’s series opener to stretch its winning streak to four games and improve its AL-best record to 31-18. Catcher Mike Napoli has homered in back-to-back games after going more than a month without hitting one and Nelson Cruz also homered. Cruz has 11 RBIs in the last four games. Seattle has scored just 11 runs during its skid and had just seven hits in the opener. The Mariners’ last victory was a 5-3 win over Texas on May 23 when Scott Feldman was on the mound. Hamilton is just 3-for-20 in his career against Seattle starter Jason Vargas.
Mariners Rangers Betting
When: 8:05 PM ET, Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Where: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, ROOT (Seattle), Fox Sports Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners LH Jason Vargas (5-4, 3.39 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Scott Feldman (0-2, 4.66 ERA)
Vargas lost to Texas on April 12 when he gave up four runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He is 3-5 with a 4.62 ERA in 12 career appearances (10 starts) against the Rangers. Vargas lost to the Angels in his last outing when he gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings. He has allowed four homers over his last three starts.
Feldman is making his third start of the season and is part of the rotation due to an injury to Neftali Feliz. He allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings, including a grand slam to Alex Liddi, in last week’s loss to Seattle. Feldman is 5-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 23 career appearances (10 starts) against the Mariners.
1. Texas infielders Michael Young (.444 in 27 career at-bats) and Ian Kinsler (.435, 23 at-bats) have fared well against Vargas.
2. Seattle’s Chone Figgins, who is batting .181, had a double in the first inning Monday for his first hit since April 29.
3. The potent Rangers have scored just 11 runs while splitting four games against Seattle over the past eight days.