MLB

more stats

American League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, July 18 (All times Eastern)

Texas Rangers (38-57) at Toronto Blue Jays (49-47), 7:07 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Yu Darvish (8-5, 2.97) Toronto - R.A. Dickey (7-9, 3.82)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers try to put a disappointing first half behind them on Friday when they open a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

No team needed the break more than Texas, which has lost eight straight and 22 of its last 25 games. The Rangers have also lost 11 of their last 12 on the road and now occupy last place in the American League West, 21 games back of first-place Oakland.

"Commitment is doing what the game asks you to do and not looking for a reward for what you're doing," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "I'm in the process of getting this new bunch to understand what it means. Don't worry about stats or numbers. It's about the team. Some people need to check their attitude and check what commitment is."

The Rangers haven't dropped nine in a row since May 30-June 8, 2003.

"It has been tough," Washington said. "Through it all, they have handled it very well. In reality, we'd liked to have handled it better and get more wins. It didn't happen, but I didn't see any letdown."

Getting the call for the Rangers on Friday will be All-Star Yu Darvish, who was one of the few bright spots on the team, going 8-5 with a 2.97 ERA. Darvish, though, is just 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA over his last five starts.

"Just a little erratic. He usually finds himself on the course of the ballgame," Washington said. "There have been a couple of games there where he's been having trouble just trying to find the pitches he wanted to use as a combination."

Darvish is 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA in six career starts against Toronto.

Toronto also disappointed in the first half, but went into the break two games above .500 at 49-47. It could have been so much better, though, as the Blue Jays were 14 games above .500 on June 6 and held a six-game advantage atop the American League East.

But thanks to losses in 23 of 34 games Toronto finds itself four games back of Baltimore in the American League East. The Blue Jays also limped into the break, dropping seven of their last nine games.

"We're in second place," outfielder Jose Bautista said. "We're obviously not playing the baseball that we started off playing and that we're capable of playing. We've had a lot of injuries to deal with.

"Bottom line is, we've got to figure out how to win some of these games that we've been losing, especially close ones. Hopefully we can manage to keep winning enough games to stay in one of the top two positions in our division, and when we get all our big bats back, kind of get back in the thick of things."

Still, the Blue Jays have at least 49 wins at the break for the first time since 2006

On Friday, Toronto will hand the ball to righty R.A. Dickey, who has lost five of his last six starts. Dickey lost to Tampa Bay on Sunday, but pitched well, giving up just two runs in six innings, but still fell to 7-9 on the year to go along with a 3.82 ERA.

Dickey, who started his career with Texas back in 2001, is 2-1 against his former team with a 2.91 ERA in six games (3 starts).

Toronto took two of three from the Rangers earlier this season.

07/18 10:32:16 ET

  • ACC: North Carolina vs. Miami

    Saturday at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego vs. Miami

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida vs. Georgia

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: Notre Dame vs. Navy

    Saturday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Carolina Panthers vs New Orleans Saints

    Tonight at 8:25 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: Duke at Pittsburgh

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on 620am

  • ACC: NC State at Syracuse

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tomorrow at 11:35 pm

Scoreboard
Local
8:25pm Tonight
CAR
NOS
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
WAS
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
DET
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
NYK
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
UTA
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
OKC
7:30pm Tonight
LOU
FSU
7:30pm Tonight
GASO
TROY
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
LOS
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
WIN
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
ARI
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
CHI
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
PHI
8:00pm Tonight
STL
ANA
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
SJS
9:00pm Tonight
COL
NYI
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
MON
8:25pm Tonight
CAR
NOS