Blue Jays-Rangers Preview
Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers
- Toronto went 6-1 against Texas in 2013 and has won the last four games in this series. The Rangers averaged just two runs per game against the Blue Jays last season.
- Toronto hit three more home runs on Thursday, giving the team 56 for the season. That total not only leads the American League, it is 10 more than the next AL club (White Sox and Angels -- 46 each).
- The Rangers (17-0) are the only team that is still undefeated when holding an opponent to three or fewer runs. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are 18-1 (.947) when allowing three or fewer runs, which is tied with the Yankees for the second-best mark in the majors.
- After picking up a victory in his first start of the season (April 1) Drew Hutchison is winless (0-3) in his last seven. The last Blue Jays' pitcher to go winless in eight or more consecutive starts was Dustin McGowan, June 27, 2008-April 4, 2014 (eight straight starts) (streaks exclude any relief appearances).
- Adam Lind is batting .429 (12/28) with six runs, three home runs and nine RBI in his last six games against the Rangers.
- Yu Darvish is coming off a May 9 start in which he threw 8.2 innings of scoreless ball against the Red Sox allowing just two hits, both off the bat of David Ortiz, who had a two-out single in the sixth inning (original ruled as an error) and then had another hit in the ninth. Darvish struck out a season-high 12 batters in the victory.
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By JEFF MEZYDLO
(AP) -- As Mark Buehrle looks to continue his strong start, he can also help the Toronto Blue Jays maintain their road recent success against the reeling Texas Rangers.
Attempting to become the first eight-game winner in the major leagues, Buehrle tries to lead the Blue Jays to a sixth straight victory at Texas on Saturday night.
Off to his best start since going 10-1 with a 2.42 ERA in the first 16 of 2005, Buehrle (7-1, 2.04 ERA) has yielded four earned runs and 16 hits in 19 2-3 innings to win all three May starts.
"Buehrle is on some kind of roll," manager John Gibbons said.
The left-hander allowed a season-high five walks but two runs in six innings of a 7-3 home win over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.
"Mark is amazing at what he does," teammate Brett Lawrie said. "You know he's going to go out there and compete for us ever single night, he's going to give us a chance to win."
Buehrle, who's won all four road starts this year with a 0.92 ERA, is 6-2 with a 2.95 ERA in eight career starts at Texas. He gave up one total run in two outings against the Rangers in 2013, going seven innings and allowing four hits both times, highlighted by an 8-0 victory at Arlington on June 14.
Drew Hutchinson tossed a three-hitter to outpitch Yu Darvish on Friday and Melky Cabrera delivered a two-run double in the eighth to help Toronto (22-21) to a 2-0 win.
Winners of a season-high four straight road contests, the Blue Jays have outscored the Rangers 26-4 during a five-game winning streak in Arlington.
Toronto's Adam Lind had two hits Friday and has batted .381 in his last six games. He's 9 for 17 in the last four on the road against the Rangers (20-22), who have dropped 13 of 18 and been shut out twice during a three-game skid.
"This is an offense capable of doing a lot of damage," said Texas outfielder Alex Rios, 2 for 14 in the last four games and 4 for 25 (.160) against Buehrle.
"We haven't quite gotten there yet."
Adrian Beltre is one of the few Rangers producing, batting .389 (7 for 18) in the past four contests. He's hitting .364 with two doubles and a home run against Buehrle.
Texas' Robbie Ross Jr. (1-4, 5.04) went 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA in his first three starts but has gone 0-4 with a 7.76 ERA in the last five. He's posted a 9.98 ERA while losing three consecutive outings.
Ross has managed to pitch better in each of those three successive defeats. He gave up four runs over the first two innings Sunday but settled down and allowed one more in a 6 2-3-inning performance in a 5-2 home defeat to Boston.
"I like his recovery, I hope there's better things ahead," manager Ron Washington said. "He's healthy, and he showed that he can start making adjustments."
Making his first start against Toronto, the left-hander has allowed five unearned runs over 7 1-3 innings in five career appearances in the series.
Lawrie is 2 for 2 against Ross.
Updated May 17, 2014