ARLINGTON, Texas — How hot will it be when Texas Rangers right-hander Lucas Harrell takes the hill opposite Colorado Rockies righty Chad Bettis in a 1:05 p.m. CDT first pitch on Thursday?
A high of 103 degrees is forecast when the Rockies and Rangers meet under what is sure to be a typical bright and sunny summer afternoon in Texas in the finale of four interleague games.
The Rangers are seeking to stay hot. They are winners of five straight, including the past three against the Rockies, all won in Texas' last at-bat. The most recent was a 5-4, come-from-behind victory Wednesday, when Adrian Beltre's two-run, eighth-inning single was the game-winner.
During their winning streak, the Rangers have scored the winning run after the seventh inning in all five games. Texas, 26-8 in one-run games this season, has a major-league-best 36 come-from-behind victories.
“It's a great energy (booster),” designated hitter Carlos Beltran said of the team's late-inning heroics. “At the same time, we would love to win a clean game. I can't imagine how the opposing team feels after these three days. Losing like that is awful for anyone. The fact that it has worked out for us … we're happy about that.”
The Rangers are 10-3 in their last 13. Colorado is 15-11 since the All-Star break.
Bettis (10-6, 5.13 ERA) is a native of Lubbock, Texas, about a four-hour drive west. He is in a groove, having registered six consecutive quality starts.
In his last start, against the Miami Marlins at Coors Field, the 27-year-old allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings in earning the victory of Saturday. During his run of quality outings, he is 4-0 with a 3.32 ERA.
The Rockies are 8-2 in Bettis' past 10 starts.
Hot also describes two streaking Colorado hitters.
Rookie outfielder David Dahl has hit safely in all 16 games since his call-up on July 25. Dahl is in exclusive company in Rockies history, joining Juan Pierre (2000) as rookies with hitting streaks of 10 or more games to begin a major league career.
Colorado leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon is 7-for-13 with four runs in his past three games, including 3-for-5 on Wednesday. Since June 20, he has at least one hit in 39 of 46 games.
Manager Walt Weiss is hopeful about the return of Carlos Gonzalez, who is riding a 17-game hitting streak but was on the sideline the past two games with a sore ankle. Weiss termed his outfielder as day-to-day on Wednesday.
Gonzalez owns the second-longest active hitting streak in the big leagues and the longest by a Rockies hitter this season. During his run, Gonzalez is batting .348 with nine doubles, four homers and 21 RBIs.
“Our offense has done a great job,” Weiss said. “We've gotten some big hits in big at-bats. We're playing well in many aspects. Just got to put together nine complete innings.”
Harrell (3-2, 3.46 ERA) will be making his third start with Texas since being acquired July 27 from the Atlanta Braves. The 31-year-old is 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA with the Rangers.
He took a no-decision in his last start, giving up a run on five hits and five walks while throwing 92 pitches in 3 2/3 innings against the Houston Astros on Saturday.
On the season, Harrell has held opposing hitters to a .195 average with runners in scoring position and .183 with men on base.