Struggling at home, the Texas Rangers look to continue
capitalizing on strong performances from C.J. Wilson.
The Florida Marlins are trying to build on their best offensive
effort under Jack McKeon.
Wilson looks to remain unbeaten for an eighth consecutive start
by quieting the Marlins’ bats in the conclusion of this three-game
series Sunday night.
Texas (44-40) holds a one-game lead in the AL West despite
dropping four of its last six in Arlington.
The Rangers hope Wilson (8-3, 3.14 ERA) can help them avoid a
second straight home series loss after dropping two of three to the
New York Mets.
The left-hander is 4-0 with a 2.74 ERA in his last seven starts,
reaching at least the seventh inning each time, including a 7-3 win
at Houston on Tuesday. He overcame getting hit by a pair of line
drives to give up two runs in seven innings, while helping himself
with a triple for his first career hit.
“I couldn’t throw a sinker after I got hit in the finger,”
Wilson said. “I had to adjust. That’s a huge pitch for me, and to
take that out of the equation really puts me behind.”
Seven of Wilson’s eight home starts have resulted in Texas
victories, while he’s gone 4-1 with a 3.66 ERA.
He made his only career start against the Marlins on the road,
limiting them to two runs despite a career-high six walks over six
innings before leaving without a decision in a 3-2 victory June 15,
The Rangers won the opener of this series 15-5 on Friday, but
the Marlins bounced back with a 9-5 victory Saturday.
Josh Hamilton continued to batter Florida pitching with two
homers and three RBIs on Saturday. He is 15 for 29 with three home
runs and seven RBIs lifetime against the Marlins. Hamilton is 3 for
6 with a homer and two doubles against Javier Vazquez, Florida’s
Ian Kinsler has five hits in his last five games but those have
all gone for extra bases – four homers and a triple.
The Marlins matched their highest scoring output of the season
Saturday while their 13 hits were the most since McKeon took over
as interim manager June 20.
They’re 5-6 under McKeon, but have scored 19 runs while hitting
.291 with four homers over the last three games, an improvement
from their .243 season average.
“I mean, the last five games, I think we’ve been playing the
game together and we’ve been getting on base and working on that,
not like we were doing that a week, two weeks or three weeks ago,”
said Hanley Ramirez, who had two homers and matched his career high
with five RBIs on Saturday.
Ramirez is batting .385 with three homers and 12 RBIs since
being benched in McKeon’s first game. The shortstop is trying to
revive a flagging season that has seen him post career lows in
batting average (.230), homers (seven) and on-base percentage
He homered on his only hit in two at-bats versus Wilson.
Vazquez (4-8, 5.83) will be hoping for better run support after
losing two of his last three starts despite a 1.04 ERA.
That trend continued for the right-hander Tuesday, as he yielded
one unearned run and three hits in seven innings of a 1-0 loss at
He’s 0-2 with a 6.99 ERA in his last five starts versus the