Vladimir Guerrero received a rare day off, and the Texas Rangers
can only hope it will serve to prepare the major league’s RBI
leader for a showdown with a pitcher who hasn’t lost since April
Guerrero will likely be back in the lineup Sunday for the
Rangers at Miller Park as they look to end Milwaukee Brewers ace
Yovani Gallardo’s six-game winning streak.
With Texas (34-28) playing the first of three straight series at
NL parks, manager Ron Washington opted to rest Guerrero in a 4-3
win Saturday. Washington wants to limit the amount of innings his
15th-year veteran plays in the outfield.
The 35-year-old slugger has seven of his 54 RBIs in his last
four games, and is hitting .349 (15 for 43) during a 10-game hit
streak. He homered in Friday’s series-opening 6-2 loss.
It could be an historic day for another Texas stalwart, with
third baseman Michael Young two hits away from tying Ivan
Rodriguez’s franchise record of 1,747. Young is batting .388 with
four homers and 18 RBIs in his last 23 games.
“I’m not trying to diminish how special it will be, but I’m
focused on what’s more important team-wise,” Young told the
Rangers’ official website.
None of the Rangers’ regulars have faced Gallardo (6-2, 2.41
ERA). The Brewers ace posted a 6.75 ERA in losing his first two
outings, but has gone 6-0 with a 1.67 ERA in his last 11
The right-hander has given up one run over his last 23 innings.
He yielded four hits in seven scoreless frames Tuesday, but didn’t
get a decision in a 3-2 home win over the Chicago Cubs.
Gallardo is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in four career interleague
outings heading into his first against Texas.
The Rangers bullpen had gone 12 1-3 innings without allowing a
run before Frank Francisco and closer Neftali Perez combined to
give up three Saturday. Perez’s struggles in the ninth inning
forced Washington to use Chris Ray to record the final two outs for
his first save since 2007.
“Last year it was rough, the whole season I had a problem with
mechanics and trying to find my arm slot,” said Ray, who posted a
career-worst 7.27 ERA in 2009. “This year, finally, I can go out
there and pitch without having to think about mechanics.”
Milwaukee (26-36) is looking for more from slugger Prince
Fielder, who is 6 for 35 in his last 11 home games. His lone RBI in
that span came on a solo homer Friday, but he regressed Saturday
with an 0-for-5 showing and three strikeouts.
Texas starter Colby Lewis (5-4, 3.40) has dropped his last four
road starts, and is winless in his last six outings away from
Arlington. He was solid at home Tuesday, lasting seven innings and
giving up one run to earn a 7-1 win over Seattle.
The right-hander has never faced the Brewers, and is 1-2 with a
11.12 ERA in three career interleague starts.