Rangers-Phillies Preview

Published May. 22, 2011 12:14 a.m. ET

A different jersey may mean a change in fortunes for Roy Oswalt as he tries to end his woes against the Texas Rangers.

Oswalt seeks his first win over Texas in nearly six years Sunday when the NL-best Phillies go for a three-game interleague sweep in Philadelphia.

Oswalt (3-1, 3.09 ERA) is 0-5 with a 5.87 ERA in six starts against the Rangers since posting a win over them on June 24, 2005. All those outings came while with Houston, and the worst showing in that stretch came last year.

The right-hander was tagged for eight runs with four walks in 4 2-3 innings of the Astros' 10-1 road loss on June 27. One of the seven hits Oswalt allowed was a 468-foot homer by Josh Hamilton, currently on an injury rehab assignment.

Just over a month later, the Phillies (28-17) acquired Oswalt in a blockbuster deal.

Oswalt, 4-6 with a 4.54 ERA in 12 games against the Rangers, made his first appearance since April 26 on Tuesday, and showed no ill effects from a sore back that landed him on the disabled list. He gave up a run and seven hits over five innings at St. Louis, but Philadelphia lost 2-1 on a walkoff single by Lance Berkman - Oswalt's longtime Astros teammate.

"Roy's got good stuff, I was impressed,'' said Berkman. "He told me (last Sunday) he wasn't feeling great and if that's what he looks like when he's not feeling great, I don't want to face him when he is.''


Oswalt will try to follow wins by Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, who shut down his former team Saturday in a 2-0 victory. Lee gave up five hits and fanned 10 over eight innings for his first win since April 14.

''It's a little different when you pitch against a team you just played with,'' Lee said. ''It wasn't off-the-charts different.''

Ryan Howard halted a career-worst 0-for-23 slump with a solo homer, his 10th, and Philadelphia won for the seventh time in eight games against AL opponents.

After an 0-for-4 night Friday, Michael Young had three of Texas' six hits, and Ian Kinsler snapped an 0-for-18 stretch with a sixth-inning single.

Young, who is among the major league leaders with 60 hits, is hitting .308 (12 for 39) with a homer against Oswalt while Kinsler is batting .467 (7 for 15) with one home run.

Matt Harrison (3-4, 4.27) opened the season strongly for the defending AL champions, but now will try again for his first win since April 15 as he faces the Phillies for the first time.

That day, the left-hander went a season-high eight innings to beat the New York Yankees, but has gone 0-4 with a 7.03 ERA in his next five starts.

Harrison avoided a fifth straight loss Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox, allowing three runs, three hits and four walks in seven innings. However, Cody Eppley gave up a run in the eighth, sending the Rangers (23-23) to a 4-3 loss.

''It's definitely frustrating,'' Harrison said. ''I felt good the whole game. The fact of the matter is I walked too many people tonight."

Harrison is 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA in two starts in interleague play.