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08/02/09 11:30 PM ET

Rangers ready for important road trip

Texas (59-44) at Oakland (44-59), 9:05 p.m. CT

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers begin a tough 11-day, 10-game road trip on Monday, and they realize the importance of it.

"It's always nice to sleep in your own bed, but you can't rely on that security blanket," outfielder David Murphy said. "It's a big road trip. The seven games against teams in the division make it significant."

The Rangers open a four-game stand against the Athletics on Monday followed by three games against the division-leading Angels starting on Friday. They have an off-day next Monday before playing three against the Indians.

This is the longest road trip this season in terms of both days and games for the Rangers. They have won three of their last four road series.

"We have to play well on the road," third baseman Michael Young said. "We're on the road a lot in August in ballparks that usually favor the home team. That will be a big challenge and a good test for us."

After returning for a seven-game homestand, the Rangers have nine road games against the Rays, Yankees and Twins.

The Rangers have the fourth-best road winning percentage in the American League this season at .489 (22-23).

The Rangers start the road trip shorthanded. Kevin Millwood isn't expected to start until Saturday against the Angels. He hasn't pitched since July 26 because of a strained left gluteus muscle.

Pitching matchup
TEX: RHP Dustin Nippert (3-0, 3.38 ERA)
Nippert receives another emergency start, this time in place of Millwood. Nippert has earned a win in his last three appearances. Over his last 13 innings, he has allowed two earned runs, which has dropped his season ERA from 7.36. Against the Athletics in his career, Nippert is 1-0 with a 2.93 ERA over 15 1/3 innings pitched. His last appearance came in relief on Millwood on July 26, when he allowed one earned run over 4 2/3 innings pitched. He picked up the win in his last start, allowing one earned run over 5 2/3 innings pitched in an emergency start against the Red Sox.

OAK: LHP Brett Anderson (6-8, 4.33 ERA)
Anderson won for the second time in as many career starts at Fenway Park on Wednesday, firing six innings of three-run ball against the Red Sox. The hard-throwing left-hander racked up eight strikeouts, seven of which were against Boston sluggers Jason Bay and Kevin Youkilis. Anderson has a 7.00 ERA in two outings against the Rangers this season.

Brandon McCarthy threw batting practice on Sunday, throwing about 35 pitches. He said he has a bit of work to do before his stamina is back enough for him to start. McCarthy also said his new delivery feels good. ... Elvis Andrus became the ninth player this season to have three plate appearances and no at-bats on Saturday. He was the 15th player in Rangers history to do so. ... The Rangers are 5-3 against the Athletics in 2009, 1-1 on the road. ... The Rangers have homered in 11 consecutive games, the longest streak for the club this season and fifth longest in the AL this season. ... Tommy Hunter was named the Rangers' Player of the Month, the first rookie pitcher to receive the honor since Chris Young in 2005.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• 105.3 The Fan, KFLC 1270 (Español)

Up next
• Tuesday: Rangers (Derek Holland, 4-6, 5.56) at Athletics (Gio Gonzalez, 2-2, 7.38), 9:05 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: Rangers (Vicente Padilla, 8-5, 4.66) at Athletics (Dallas Braden, 8-9, 3.89), 9:05 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Rangers (Tommy Hunter, 3-2, 2.63) at Athletics (Trevor Cahill, 6-10, 5.01), 2:35 p.m. CT

Daniel Paulling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.