The Texas Rangers have lost a season-high three straight and now must face a red-hot Brandon McCarthy.
McCarthy has been stellar over his last three outings for the Arizona Diamondbacks heading into Wednesday night’s matchup in Arlington.
Texas (32-20) was swept Monday in a doubleheader at Arizona after falling 4-3 in 13 innings at Seattle on Sunday.
“(Sunday) we had a chance to win the game and today we had a chance to win both of those games,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said after 5-3 and 5-4 defeats in Phoenix. “It just wasn’t meant to be.”
The Rangers will now face a familiar face on the mound in McCarthy (2-3, 4.36 ERA), who pitched for Texas from 2007-09 before spending the last two seasons with Oakland. McCarthy is 0-1 with a 5.71 ERA in three starts in Arlington since leaving the Rangers.
McCarthy, however, has allowed one run over 24 innings in his last three starts. He has won consecutive outings after giving up the one run in seven innings Friday in a 5-2 victory over San Diego.
“That was his third (quality start) in a row, threw the ball the same way,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “Just really good command of what he was doing, pretty efficient.”
Only one hitter in the majors has faced the right-hander more than Adrian Beltre, who is 13 for 31 with two homers against him. McCarthy has fared better against Elvis Andrus (3 for 18) and Nelson Cruz (1 for 17).
Andrus is hitting .227 at home and Cruz .215, so they may have more problems than just their past history versus McCarthy.
Mitch Moreland is 6 for 15 with two homers against McCarthy, and hitting .338 at home.
Like McCarthy, Texas starter Justin Grimm (4-3, 4.05) has also won his last two outings. Grimm yielded three runs and a season-high 10 hits over 6 1-3 innings Friday in a 9-5 victory at Seattle.
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA at home heading into his first start against the Diamondbacks.
Arizona (30-22) has won three straight entering a nine-game trip. The Diamondbacks are 14-10 on the road, but 4-10 all-time at Texas.
“We’ve been pretty good on the road,” Gibson said. “These guys get along well, they prepare well and we’ve got a good routine.”
Gibson is unsure of the status of Gerardo Parra, who left the nightcap in the fifth inning with a strained left calf.
Willie Bloomquist is close to making his season debut for Arizona. The infielder has been rehabbing in the minors after starting 2013 on the disabled list with a strained right intercostal muscle.
Arizona’s Martin Prado has nine hits in his last 16 at-bats, but he’s just a .200 hitter on the road compared to a .311 average at home.
Texas manager Ron Washington welcomed Tuesday’s off day, but isn’t sure how much it will help.
“It helps to have the off day, but what’s an off day if you’re getting in at 5 in the morning?” Washington told the Rangers’ official website. “I’m going to sleep half of it away. Not because I want to, but if I don’t, I’m going to be a zombie.”