That’s because the Rangers are sending struggling Colby Lewis to the mound, while the Devil Rays, who have dropped five of their last six, counter with Carlos Reyes, a 34-year-old right-hander who last appeared in the majors nearly three years ago.
Texas pitching has been hit hard during its two-game losing streak, having allowed 23 runs in consecutive defeats to the Baltimore Orioles.
The Rangers will now turn to the largely unproven Lewis, a 23-year-old right-hander making his 15th career start, to end the skid.
Lewis started the season by winning his first three decisions, but has since gone 0-3 with a 12.31 ERA in six starts. His ERA in May is 15.12 in five outings, and he hasn’t made it past the fifth inning this month.
“This is a little hump in the road that I’ve get to get over,” Lewis said.
The Devil Rays’ Reyes last appeared in the majors on July 8, 2000, as a member of the San Diego Padres.
Reyes spent the 2001 season in the minors, and then was the pitching coach for the Padres’ rookie team in the Pioneer League last season. He was signed as a free agent by Tampa Bay on Jan. 29, and went 5-1 with a 1.19 ERA in nine starts for Triple-A Durham.
Reyes will be making his first start since 1997 when he was with Oakland, and will be trying to help the Devil Rays snap a two-game losing streak in which they were outscored 13-3 by the Anaheim Angels.
Tampa Bay fell apart after winning four of its first six games on its recent 12-game road trip.
“We should have done better on this trip, considering the way we started,” Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said. “We were hoping for better than this.”
STANDINGS (through May 25): Rangers - 4th place, 8 GB, AL West. Devil Rays - 5th place, 11 GB, AL East.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Lewis (3-3, 8.40 ERA). The right-hander allowed seven runs and seven hits over four innings in Texas’ 10-8 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday.
DEVIL RAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Reyes (no record). Reyes, who has played for Oakland, San Diego, Boston and Philadelphia, is 4-2 with a 5.59 ERA in 19 career appearances against Texas.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rangers - Hank Blalock, .363 avg.; Alex Rodriguez, 15 HRs and 6 SBs; Carl Everett, 42 RBIs and 43 runs. Devil Rays - Rocco Baldelli, .342 avg. and 31 RBIs; Aubrey Huff, 13 HRs and 32 runs; Carl Crawford, 12 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Rangers, 3-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rangers - 2B Michael Young has five straight multihit games. … SS Rodriguez is hitting .353 (6-for-17) with three homers, three RBIs and six runs scored over his last four games. … OF Everett is batting .316 with six homers and 20 RBIs in 19 road games this season. Devil Rays - RHP Reyes is 20-33 with a 4.62 ERA in 283 career appearances. … Tampa Bay is tied for the fourth-highest batting average at home in the AL at .289. … SS Julio Lugo is hitting .167 with a homer and two RBIs in eight games since joining the Devil Rays on May 15.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 9-12 on the road; Devil Rays - 10-12 at home.
INJURIES: Rangers - CF Doug Glanville (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (back), 15-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; LF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL. Devil Rays - SS Rey Ordonez (knee), 15-day DL; OF Damian Rolls (thumb), 15-day DL; RHP Seth McClung (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Steve Parris (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Bobby Seay (shoulder), 15-day DL; 3B Jared Sandberg (wrist), day-to-day.