Rangers-Reds preview

BY foxsports • August 24, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Yu Darvish is hitting his stride. But, that doesn't mean the Texas Rangers won't continue to be careful with how they utilize their right-handed ace.

Darvish, 30, is scheduled to make his 11th start of the season on Wednesday night in the finale of a two-game interleague series with the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. And, he'll do so on six days rest.

"It's a positive," Darvish told reporters last week via an interpreter. "I didn't feel like I needed it, but getting rest is beneficial for me."

Darvish, who's coming off Tommy John surgery, is 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings in his last three starts. He's made six straight quality starts, matching the longest run this season by a Rangers pitcher.

He's been dominant in interleague play, going 7-2 with a 1.90 ERA in 11 starts against the National League.

Darvish will be facing Cincinnati for the first time since June 30, 2013 when he gave up only four hits in 6 2/3 innings with four walks and eight strikeouts in a 3-2 Texas win.

He'll get a chance to take his hacks in an NL park on Wednesday. He has two hits in 12 career at-bats.

Right-hander Tim Adleman will take the mound for Cincinnati on Wednesday. It's his sixth career start and second since he was recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 16. He'll be facing the Rangers for the first time in his career.

Cincinnati is 22-14 and has won eight of 11 series since the All-Star break. The Reds will be looking for their ninth series win on Wednesday if they can sweep the Rangers after a 3-0 win on Tuesday.

The Reds are riding the red-hot bat of first baseman Joey Votto, who is hitting .455 since the All-Star break after batting just .229 in April and .200 in May. Votto went 2-for-3 with two RBIs on Tuesday.

"I think what Joey has accomplished with his batting average and on-base percentage is phenomenal," said manager Bryan Price. "Anybody can struggle for a couple of months or even a season. That's not unique, so I'd have to say I'm more surprised at what he's doing now. I don't think anybody saw coming what he went through in April and May, but it's not foreign."

Texas' recent acquisition -- catcher Jonathan Lucroy -- is a bona fide Reds killer.

During his career with the Milwaukee Brewers, Lucroy has 13 home runs, 45 RBIs, and 42 runs in his career against Cincinnati, all his highest totals against any opponent. Lucroy's 13 homers are nearly double his total against any other club.

Lucroy went 0-for-3 with a walk on Tuesday. But, he'll get another crack at Cincinnati pitching on Wednesday.

He has homered in three of his past six games at Great American Ball Park.

Cincinnati now leads the all-time series 8-7 after Tuesday's win. The teams split a two-game series at Globe Life Park in Arlington in June.