American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, June 16th (All times Eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (31-36) at Texas Rangers (38-30), 3:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Chien-Ming Wang (0-0, 6.14) Texas - Derek Holland (5-3, 3.11)
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Blue Jays look to remain the hottest team in the American League as they take on the Texas Rangers in the final chapter of a four-game series at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Toronto won its fourth game in a row overall on Saturday and will be looking to achieve its first five-game winning streak since July of 2011 after its 6-1 victory on Saturday. The Blue Jays are now on the verge of their first four- game sweep of the Rangers in Arlington in the club's 36-year history.
Adam Lind and Colby Rasmus each slugged two-run homers to power Toronto to its game three win. Jose Bautista had gone hitless in eight plate appearances before going 2-for-4 to end his slump. The defending NL Cy Young Award-winning R.A. Dickey improved to 6-8 on the season as he surrendered just one run on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Lind has gone 4-for-8 with three runs scored and the same number of RBI over his last two games to improve his batting average to .343. Rasmus has scored four times, homered twice and driven in five during that span.
"To have a good year, everybody has to be contributing," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Now our pitching is starting to come together as well, and you have to ride that and play good baseball."
Chien-Ming Wang is set to make his second start of the season after leaving much to be desired on Tuesday. The 33-year-old from Taiwan was granted a no- decision after allowing five earned runs on 10 hits over 7 1/3 innings against the White Sox. Although his stat line was subpar, most of the damage came courtesy of a few mistakes that allowed Adam Dunn and Conor Gillaspie to go yard.
The Rangers will turn the ball over to Derek Holland as they try to avoid their first six-game slide since April 2010. Holland gave up only three earned runs during the course of his three starts prior to his last outing, but the southpaw was pulled after only 4 1/3 innings against Cleveland on Tuesday. The Indians scored four runs and hit safely nine times, which resulted in Holland's third loss of 2013.
Texas couldn't come up with the clutch hits it needed to compete on Saturday as it went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and Lance Berkman all went hitless, finishing with a combined total of 11 left on base.
"It's just simple baseball," manager Ron Washington said. "We need to get some base hits with runners in scoring position. We just haven't been able to do that. It's not one part of the lineup, it's up and down the lineup.
The Rangers have gone 3-for-27 with runners in scoring position during their current skid and had a 14th consecutive game with 10 hits or less, the club's longest stretch since going 15 straight to begin the 1988 season.
06/16 10:28:21 ET