Rangers-Blue Jays Preview
Yu Darvish couldn’t help the Texas Rangers put an end to their
Now, the AL West-leading Rangers will turn to a pitcher trying
to stop his own slide when they continue a three-game set against
the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.
After being demoted from the rotation on July 30, Roy Oswalt
(4-2, 6.53 ERA) will fill in for Ryan Dempster, who will miss his
scheduled start because of personal reasons. The Rangers didn’t
elaborate, except to say Dempster will rejoin the team Monday.
Instead, it’s up to Oswalt to stem the tide for Texas (68-50),
which dropped the series opener 3-2 on Friday, the team’s fourth
loss in five games.
Oswalt hasn’t started since July 30, when he gave up eight runs
and 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 15-8 loss to the Los Angeles
Angels. He made his most recent appearance at Boston on Aug. 8,
yielding four runs and three hits in 1 1-3 innings.
His only career start against Toronto was a two-hitter in a 3-0
victory for Houston on June 12, 2005.
One day after scoring 10 runs at Yankee Stadium, the Rangers
were held to four hits by six Toronto pitchers. Texas’ normally
potent lineup has scored only six runs in four losses on the
seven-game road trip.
“We had some chances for a base hit to make a difference,”
manager Ron Washington said. “If we had made the difference with
one base hit, it would have been our victory, I feel.”
Friday’s victory ended a three-game skid for last-place Toronto,
which has lost 14 of 19 overall and six of nine at home.
Edwin Encarnacion continued the best season of his career with
his team-leading 31st home run after missing Thursday’s game with a
sore wrist. He’s batting .435 (10 for 23) in his last six games but
is 3 for 24 (.125) with nine strikeouts lifetime against
”I felt good today,” Encarnacion said. ”I can do my swing 100
Carlos Villanueva (6-2, 3.12) looks to continue his run of solid
outings for the Blue Jays.
He’s allowed three runs or fewer in all but one of his eight
starts and completed at least six innings in six of his past seven
outings. The right-hander limited the Chicago White Sox to one run
and five hits over seven innings Monday but left without a decision
in a game Toronto eventually won in 11.
Villanueva will want to be careful with Rangers slugger Josh
Hamilton, who is 4 for 5 with a homer and a triple in their