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A pair of American League teams off to disappointing starts kick off a series in the Sunshine State. The Texas Rangers play the first of three against the Tampa Bay Rays Monday night. Texas played the rubber game of their three-game series on the road against the Astros Sunday: they rallied for a 6-5, 10 inning win in Saturday’s second game of the series. Tampa Bay finished a three-game interleague set with the Phillies at home Sunday hoping to avoid a sweep after getting hammered 9-4 Saturday evening. The Rangers took the season series last year, 4-2, sweeping a three-game set at Tropicana Field July 21-23, 2017.
Texas Rangers Look to Earn Road Win in Series Opener
Texas managed to dig out of a hole to stun the Astros in the middle game of the series Saturday to set up a rubber game Sunday afternoon. The Rangers entered that contest 5-11 on the year and eight games behind the Angels in the AL West. Texas trailed 5-0 after four innings but tied the game with three in the eighth before winning in the 10th inning. Jurickson Profar (two runs), Joey Gallo (run, two RBI), Adrian Beltre (run, RBI), Ronald Guzman (run, two RBI) and Ryan Rua each had two hits for the Rangers. Beltre (his first), Guzman (his first), Gallo (his fifth) and Isiah Kiner-Falafel (his first) all homered for Texas. Mike Minor recorded a no-decision as he allowed five runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts in five innings. Keone Kela (1-0) worked the ninth to earn the win while Alex Claudio got the final out for his first save.
Martin Perez gets the ball for his third start of the season for the Rangers in this contest. He is 1-1 with an 11.88 ERA, a 2.76 WHIP, four walks and three strikeouts over 8.1 innings of work. Perez was roughed up and took the loss in his last start, which came Tuesday at home against the Angels. He allowed eight runs on nine hits with four walks and two strikeouts in three innings of work as the Rangers were hammered 11-1. Perez makes his seventh career appearance and sixth start against the Rays in this contest looking for his first win. He is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA, a 1.615 WHIP, nine walks and 22 strikeouts over 30.1 innings of work. Perez is 1-1 with a 5.00 ERA, a 1.444 WHIP, six walks and 12 strikeouts over 18 innings in three career appearances, two starts, at Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay Rays Continuing to Struggle in All Facets
Tampa Bay continued to flounder as they dropped the first two games of their series at home against the Phillies after Saturday’s drubbing. The Rays entered Sunday 3-11 and already nine games behind the Red Sox in the AL East standings. Tampa Bay never led as they trailed 6-0 after one and a half innings. Mallex Smith (run) and Kevin Kiermaier (two runs) each had two hits for the Rays while C.J. Cron drove in a pair of runs. Matt Duffy and Adeiny Hechevarria drove in the other runs for Tampa Bay. Chris Archer (1-1) took the loss as he allowed seven runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts over four innings of work.
Blake Snell makes his fourth start of the season for Tampa Bay here. He is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, 10 walks and 17 strikeouts over 15 innings of work this season. Snell earned his first win of the season in his last start, which came Tuesday on the road against the White Sox. He threw six innings, allowing one run on one hit with five walks and 10 strikeouts in a game the Rays hung on to win 6-5. Snell, in his 47th career major league start, faces the Rangers for the first time. He is 8-7 with a 3.10 ERA, a 1.319 WHIP, 56 walks and 121 strikeouts over 116 innings in 21 career starts at Tropicana Field.