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May 21, 2012

Week that was, week that is for Rangers

They went 3-4 on a seven-game homestand, dropping three of four to Kansas City and Oakland. But the Texas Rangers got back on track with a series victory over the Houston Astros this weekend, taking two of three.

The Rangers headed to Seattle on Sunday night, and will open a three-game series in the Pacific Northwest today through Wednesday. They get a much-needed offday on Thursday after playing 20 games in 20 days, and return home for a weekend series against Toronto. Here's a look back and a look ahead on the weeks:

May 14-15 vs. Kansas City: The Royals swept a two-game series against the Rangers. Josh Hamilton said the team might have let its guard down against the Royals, but said it wasn’t anything they couldn’t bounce back from. KC won the first game 3-1 with lefty Bruce Chen shutting down the Texas offense. In a 7-4 win on Tuesday, the Royals benefitted from a couple throwing errors by starter Colby Lewis.

May 16-17 vs. Oakland: The Rangers bounced back from the Royals series with a 4-1 victory over the Athletics. However, Oakland won Game 2 of the two-game series, 5-4. Rangers reliever Mike Adams gave up what proved to be the game-winning hit in the 10th.

May 18-20 at Houston: After losing three of four to Kansas City and Oakland, the Rangers got back on track with a series win over the Astros. They had a 4-1 victory on Friday behind an impressive performance by the bullpen. They blew a four-run lead on Saturday in a 6-5 loss, as Derek Holland gave up a career-high three home runs. On Sunday, though, the Rangers bounced back with a 6-1 win as Colby Lewis threw eight scoreless innings before giving up a homer to lead off the ninth.

May 21-23 at Seattle: The Rangers wrap up their 20 games in 20 days stretch this week with a trip to the Mariners. It starts with an intriguing pitching matchup – Yu Darvish vs. Felix Hernandez. Darvish made his big-league debut against the Mariners on April 9, and earned the victory after a rough first inning. Matt Harrison will start Game 2, and is looking to snap out of what has been a bad May (1-2, 7.48 ERA). The Mariners might be the perfect team, too, as Harrison is 6-1 with a 2.67 ERA against them in his career. And Neftali Feliz goes in the series finale after struggling with his control in his last start.

May 25-27 vs. Toronto: The Rangers have an off-day Thursday, their first since May 3. They will then open a three-game series against the Blue Jays over the weekend. Texas faced Toronto earlier this month, dropping two of three. In that series, though, Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton did not play because of the AstroTurf at the Rogers Centre.

-- Drew Davison

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