Texas (5-2) will look to carry its recent home-run onslaught into Tuesday. After the Rangers connected on three homers in each of their previous two games against the Angels, A.J. Pierzynski and Mitch Moreland each provided one Monday. Pierzynski is 8 for 15 in his last four games and became the seventh player to homer in the first seven games for Texas, which had only home run through its first three contests.
With previous success against Rays starter Roberto Hernandez - formerly known as Fausto Carmona - the Rangers will try to tee off against him once more. Nelson Cruz is 5 for 16 against Hernandez with three home runs, while David Murphy is 7 for 14 and Elvis Andrus 5 for 14. Hernandez has lost his last five decisions versus the Rangers and owns a 2-8 record in 12 career starts against them with a 5.37 ERA. He yielded four runs over 6 2-3 innings in a 6-3 loss to Baltimore on Thursday.
Though Tampa Bay's bid for a road win Monday ended with Zobrist at the dish, things have mostly gone well for him this season. Zobrist, whose career-high batting average was .297 in 2009, is 10 for 25 (.400) with seven RBIs for the Rays (3-4). Zobrist and the rest of the order will look to ruin Rangers starter Nick Tepesch's big-league debut. Tepesch won the fifth spot in Texas' rotation out of spring training, but the team elected to skip his first start due to an off day Thursday.
However, Tepesch did throw on his normal rest that day for Triple-A Round Rock, surrendering five hits and an unearned run over five innings. He was 0-1 with a 6.50 ERA in 18 innings this spring. Evan Longoria is hitting .375 with five home runs in his last 10 games against the Rangers, including a 3-for-3 performance Monday. Ian Kinsler has gotten off to a nice start for the '13 season with a .296 BA to go along with 3 HR and 8 RBI.
The price is a little steep this evening but we should see some balls fly especially since we have two pitchers looking to make some strides after rough spring training sessions. Favor the ballpark in Arlington their favorable dimensions coupled with the breeze out to both corners which will be more increasingly evident throughout the late spring and summer months. Otherwise expect plenty of hits which will hopefully turn this venue into a launching pad before too long. Best of luck however you play!