Athletics-Rangers Preview

Oakland right-hander Brandon McCarthy took to Twitter last week

wondering how to get Josh Hamilton out. Now that it seems that

chance is here, he may not have to.

Texas manager Ron Washington is planning to give Hamilton a day

off soon, potentially as soon as Thursday against McCarthy and the

visiting A’s in the midst of the Rangers center fielder’s 16-game

hitting streak.

McCarthy (3-3, 2.56 ERA), known around the majors as one of the

game’s most active and engaging tweeters, playfully asked “Siri,

how do you get Josh Hamilton out?” on the social media website May

12, referencing the iPhone’s intelligent personal assistant.

That came after Hamilton homered for the ninth time in six

games, and while he hasn’t gone deep since, he’s hardly slowing

down at the plate. Hamilton collected two hits to extend his

hitting streak Wednesday as the Rangers (24-14) beat Oakland

4-1.

The 2010 AL MVP has made a habit of feasting on A’s pitching,

especially at Rangers Ballpark. He owns a .373 average with six

homers and 28 RBIs in 29 career meetings there.

Hamilton, though, is due for a day off after Washington has

rested at least one regular member of the lineup in each of the

last three days. He opted to give Michael Young the day off

Wednesday, and knows Hamilton’s turn is coming.

“One more guy, then I’ve done everyone,” Washington said.

He may want to wait on that since Hamilton is hitting .424 with

10 homers and 26 RBIs during his streak.

“I said in spring training, we are going to go only as far as

the guys we’re resting right now will take us,” Washington told the

team’s official website. “If we don’t take care of them, they won’t

take care of us. If they are out for a period of time, we’re in

trouble.

“If I don’t do what I feel I have to do, I’m not doing my

job.”

Should Hamilton find himself in the lineup, he might be just as

curious how to solve McCarthy. The righty has a 1.31 ERA.during his

three-game winning streak.

He turned in his best performance of the season Saturday,

matching his career high with 10 strikeouts during seven scoreless

innings in a 3-1 win over Detroit.

McCarthy, a member of the Rangers from 2007-09, is 1-4 with a

4.06 ERA in nine games – seven starts – against his former

club.

He’ll have a tough task figuring out how to end the A’s

struggles in this series. Texas has won 13 of the last 15 meetings

with Oakland (19-19), going 8-1 at home.

Elvis Andrus, who was rested with Nelson Cruz earlier this week,

is also on a roll. The shortstop is batting .422 with six doubles,

nine RBIs and 12 runs in 16 games after getting two hits

Wednesday.

Washington is scheduled to give the ball to Matt Harrison (4-3,

5.23), who has an 8.86 ERA while losing three of his last four

starts. The left-hander gave up four runs in six innings of a 4-2

defeat to Los Angeles on Saturday.

He’s 4-1 with a 2.86 ERA in six starts against the A’s, though,

winning both at home while allowing two runs with 14 strikeouts in

13 2-3 innings.

Harrison might be in line for another strong outing against

Oakland in Arlington. The A’s are hitting .156 in their last four

games, scoring one run or fewer in each of three losses.

Jemile Weeks is doing his part to help, going 10 for 29 with two

doubles and five runs in his last eight games. The second baseman

had half of the team’s four hits Wednesday, and owns a .358 average

in 13 meetings with the Rangers.