Harden (5-4, 5.00 ERA): He hopes to capitalize on another opportunity and build off his performance on Monday. Harden didn't give up a hit in 6 2/3 innings in his return to the rotation following another stint on the disabled list (shoulder). The Rangers' staff didn't give up a hit until the ninth inning against the Twins that not, coming two outs shy of a combined no-hitter. It was Harden's second scoreless outing of the season, the other was seven shutout innings in Oakland in May. Harden was originally drafted and developed by Oakland. This is his third start against the A's. He got the win in that solid start in May, but didn't pitch well in his last outing against them, giving up three runs on two hits with five walks in just 2 1/3 innings. Despite his struggles for much of the year, the Rangers score runs for him and the club is 10-6 in 16 starts.
Braden (8-9, 3.49 ERA): Like the rest of the Oakland staff, Braden has a streak of quality starts. His sits at three going into tonight's game after he allowed three runs on four hits in six innings of a 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday. In fact, the only non-quality start for Braden in his last six starts was against the Rangers in early August. He gave up four runs on five hits (two of them homers) with two walks and a strikeout in six innings in a 5-1 loss. Braden is 4-2 with a 2.81 ERA in seven starts since returning from the disabled list with left elbow soreness. The A's haven't scored a bunch of runs for him at 3.49 per start, the fourth-lowest mark in the AL. Braden is 1-4 with a 4.15 ERA in 10 career appearances against the Rangers. He's 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA in two starts versus Texas in 2010.
Hitters: Josh Hamilton has the best mark of any Ranger against Braden, going 5-for-10 with a homer and two RBI. Michael Young (7-for-20) and Vladimir Guerrero (3-for-8) have also had success. Elvis Andrus, Andres Blanco and Jorge Cantu are a combined 1-for-14 against Braden. Coco Crisp (4-for-12) is the only A's player with more than one hit off Harden.