The Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays are set to play the second game of a three-game series Tuesday night at Tropicana Field
Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays
Texas celebrated Memorial Day with an 11-5 victory over Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field and will look to continue improving its 10-14 record on the road. The Rangers have won six of their last eight games and remain one game in front of the Angels in the American League West. “It was just great to swing the bats and get a nice lead,” Rangers outfielder David Murphy stated. “To win a game against a solid team…we’re going to be on the road a bunch and we haven’t played well on the road. It’s great to build some momentum in the right direction.” The club came into the game with the lowest slugging percentage on the road in the American League, but finished Monday’s contest with nine extra-base hits. Texas is 9-14 in games played on artificial turf the past three years.
Rangers starting pitcher C.J. Wilson is 5-3 with a 3.25 ERA in 12 starts this season and is coming off a 2-1 home victory over the White Sox. The left-hander allowed a single run and five hits over 6 1/3 innings Wednesday afternoon, snapping a five start winless streak in the process. Wilson will be working on extended five days’ rest, posting a 2-0 mark and 3.73 ERA in five outings when given the situation. In 14 career appearances (one start) versus the Rays, he is a perfect 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA, limiting them to a .197 average.
Tampa Bay had won 17 of its last 22 meetings with Texas at Tropicana Field before yesterday’s loss and has dropped 10 of 15 overall. “They just outplayed us tonight,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “They played well. They hit the ball well. Their starting pitcher got them deeper into the game.” The Rays moved to 28-25 on the season and 2-2 on the current homestand. The recent rough patch may be attributed to playing 13 consecutive games against teams with .500 or better record and they have gone 5-8 over that span. Tampa Bay is 7-6 versus left-handed starters this year and 73-58 over the last three campaigns.
Rays right-hander Alex Cobb is set to make his second start of the season after being called up last night due to scheduled pitcher Andy Sonnanstine working in relief Monday. In Triple-A, Cobb has been exceptional with a 5-0 record and 1.14 ERA, but that hasn’t translated over to the highest level. He allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Angels in his first Major League appearance on May 1. “Minor league numbers don’t mean anything now,” Cobb stated. “Once you get up here, you have to be able to put those numbers out up here. If you don’t, you’re going to go back.” In his only start for the club, it was found that he was tipping pitches with a glove waggle, but that has since been fixed.
Bettors will likely back the Rays due to their 10-4 record following a loss, while the Rangers are 1-5 in Wilson’s last six road starts