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Cole Hamels and Mike Fiers could soon find themselves in a pennant race. Both veterans can increase their chances of joining a championship contender with solid starts on Saturday afternoon.

The two pitchers will be the mound opponents when the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers play the third game of a four-game series at Detroit’s Comerica Park. They have split the first two games.

Both teams are floundering Seahawks Authentic Jerseys , but contenders seeking veteran help could turn to Hamels or Fiers.

Hamels, a 34-year-old Texas left-hander, knows about the trade rumors but is more concerned with improving upon his recent outings.

“It’s not a big deal,” he told MLB.com after his last start. “It’s out of my control. I have to go and pitch, and hopefully that’ll be the last time I have to answer that question.”

Hamels had stellar road outings against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City in mid-June, but he lasted just five innings in each of his last two starts. He gave up a season-high seven runs and nine hits to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

Hamels (4-7, 4.05 ERA) is 4-2 with a 3.69 ERA in six career starts against the Tigers.

Fiers has been at the top of his game in his last two starts. He held Oakland to one run and five hits in seven innings, then worked a season-high eight innings on Monday in Toronto. The Blue Jays managed just one run and three hits, but he wound up with no-decision when the bullpen couldn’t hold a one-run lead in the ninth inning.

Fiers (5-5, 3.79) has kept opponents off-balance by mixing well-located fastballs with a healthy dose of curveballs and changeups.

“He was changing speeds, locating the ball,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said afterward. “He paints the strike zone. When the catcher sets up away and in front Buccaneers Authentic Jerseys , he throws away and in front.”

Fiers issued 62 walks in 29 outings last season with Houston and was left off the playoff roster. He has shown much better control this year, issuing 20 free passes in 16 starts.

“Just throwing a lot of strikes, changing speeds,” Fiers told the Detroit News. “I’m just glad I got the opportunity here.”

Texas has solved Fiers in the past. He’s 1-3 wth an 8.10 ERA in seven career appearances against the Rangers.

Texas didn’t have any luck on Friday night against Detroit pitcher Jordan Zimmermann after Shin-Soo Choo smacked a leadoff homer. Zimmermann struck out a season-high 11 batters in the Tigers’ 3-1 victory.

Zimmermann pitched eight innings, allowing Gardenhire to go straight to fill-in closer Joe Jimenez. Detroit’s regular closer, Shane Greene, is on the disabled list.

“Best thing we’re all seeing is we’re pounding the strike zone right now,” Gardenhire said. “Pitchers are getting deeper into games. That’s really going to help our baseball team.”

Choo’s on-base streak increased to 45 games with the homer, his 17th this season. His bat hasn’t cooled off despite a nagging right quad injury. Choo is batting .291 with a .401 on-base percentage.

The Rangers had scored five or more runs in eight of their previous 12 games.

LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw’s comeback from a third back injury in three years will continue Thursday afternoon when he faces the Chicago Cubs in the finale of a four-game series.

It is the last time the Dodgers and Cubs will meet in the regular season, but as the last two National League Championship Series have shown, a high-profile series in October is a possibility.

Thursday’s afternoon game at Dodger Stadium is also the end of a jammed-packed run that will see the Cubs and Dodgers face each other for the seventh time in 10 days. Each team has beaten the other three times after the Dodgers earned a 7-5 victory Wednesday.

Kershaw (1-4, 2.94 ERA) has already had two disabled list stints this season. He missed nearly four weeks in May with left biceps tendinitis Titans Authentic Jerseys , and after only five innings of his return from that injury, he hit the DL again with a lower back strain.

In his return Saturday at New York against the Mets, Kershaw gave up two runs on five hits over three innings, as he was held to 55 pitches. He was supposed to have a minor league rehab start that day, but a poor weather forecast for their Triple-A Oklahoma team led the Dodgers to shift gears.

While Kershaw is expected to get more leeway Thursday, he still figures to be on a pitch restriction that manager Dave Roberts will determine.

“I feel 100 percent,” Kershaw told ESPN this week. “It’s just a matter of building up pitch-count wise and just make sure we’re getting to that 110-, 120-pitch count limit.”

Kershaw is 5-3 with a 2.64 ERA in nine career starts against the Cubs.

Kershaw will square off against fellow left-hander Jose Quintana (6-6, 4.26) on Thursday. Quintana has not thrown 100 pitches in any of his last six starts and has completed six innings once in four June starts.

Quintana has not won a start since May 31 while posting a 4.15 ERA over 21 2/3 June innings. He has not given up an earned run in two career starts against the Dodgers, but is 0-1 against Los Angeles

The Cubs have scored 14 runs in two nights after hitting coach Chili Davis held a meeting with the offense. And while the improved offense was much needed, the Cubs are 1-1 in those two games since the meeting.

Now comes a matchup with Kershaw, who is never a pushover Redskins Authentic Jerseys , whether he is coming off an injury or not.

“I’m still looking forward to, as we get more mature in the batter’s box, that we chase less,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I like homers just like everybody else does, but there are so many other ways to score. Industry-wide, that’s probably everybody’s biggest problem. I want power and I want that little dumper to the right side.”

For the Dodgers, it has been all about power in June. They hit three more home runs Wednesday and now have 51 in June, two short of the club record for a single month.

Joc Pederson, Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger hit home runs Wednesday. Pederson has a major league-leading 10 home runs in June, Muncy has nine and Bellinger has eight.

The Cubs are 1-6 on their eight-game road trip to Cincinnati and L.A. and are 3-9 in regular-season games at Dodger Stadium since the start of 2015.

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