Rangers’ Moore faces tall task in return vs. Mariners
The veteran left-hander, who has been sidelined with a sore right knee, is expected to be activated Wednesday and start that night against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Moore was 1-5 with a 7.99 ERA in 10 appearances (nine starts) before being hurt.
“Matt has shown in previous games flashes of what we’ve seen before when he has had success,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “We’d like for him to go out and extend that, be consistent in the game, give us innings and compete through the length of the game.”
The former All-Star still reaches 90-93 mph with his fastball and also throws a curveball and changeup.
Moore told MLB.com he used his time on the DL to work on his delivery.
“We are results oriented,” Moore said. “You can work your process as much as you want, but in the end, if the results are there, then we’ll know. In general, it has been nice to throw in non-game situations, feel myself through some at-bats.”
Moore has a 1-1 record and 2.03 ERA in five career starts against the Mariners, but didn’t draw an easy assignment for his first game back.
Seattle (33-21) is scheduled to start left-hander James Paxton (4-1, 3.10 ERA), a leading candidate for the American League’s Pitcher of the Month award.
Paxton is 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA this month, including a no-hitter May 8 at Toronto and a 16-strikeout game May 2 against Oakland.
In his last start, Paxton beat Minnesota 2-1, pitching seven innings of three-hit ball with 11 strikeouts.
“It’s pretty much what he’s been doing all year, striking out the house,” Twins catcher Mitch Garver said of Paxton. “He’s throwing the ball hard, mixing speeds, in and out. He kept us off balance. He’s throwing the rise fastball up in the top of the zone, which is pretty tough to hit. It looks so appealing, you want to swing at it. But it’s very hard to get your barrel on.”
Paxton has had trouble with the Rangers. He’s 2-4 with a 5.10 ERA in 11 career starts against them. He faced the Rangers on April 21, allowing five runs on six hits in four innings, but didn’t get a decision as the Mariners rallied for a 9-7 road victory.
The Rangers (23-34) snapped Seattle’s four-game winning streak Tuesday night with a 9-5 decision. Rougned Odor‘s three-run double to the opposite field in the top of the ninth inning off Mariners closer Edwin Diaz broke a 5-5 tie.
“Rougned had just a tremendous at-bat, driving the ball the other way. That’s something that he has been working on quite a bit here lately,” Banister said. “He has been playing a lot better, batting a lot better. It goes a long way building his confidence. Any time a guy goes into the cage and does the work he’s doing, for it to show up on the field is huge. The belief system in what he’s doing is key.”
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