After rainouts each of the past two nights, the teams will conclude their three-game interleague series. Pittsburgh’s Oliver Perez and Texas’ Joaquin Benoit, the scheduled starters Tuesday, will pitch in the first game. The Pirates’ Josh Fogg will oppose Kenny Rogers in the nightcap.
The Pirates have played three doubleheaders already this season and still have four left.
“This can be good for us,” Pittsburgh’s Daryle Ward said. “But we need to get going and start getting these games in.”
To make things worse, the Pirates switched hotels Wednesday because the place they were staying in was already booked for that night, when they were scheduled to fly to Oakland for their next series.
“We can go back, relax and get a little rest,” Ward said. “It can’t hurt if we get charged up for what’s ahead of us.”
The Rangers have tried to stay busy with workouts and batting practice indoors.
“Guys are getting it going and we are trying to keep away from shutting down,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said.
While the Pirates are 1-8 since a three-game winning streak, Perez is trying to win for the first time in nearly a month.
Boasting a team-best 3.20 ERA, Perez hasn’t won since May 13 at Colorado, going 0-2 in three starts. The Mexican left-hander took a shutout into the sixth inning last Thursday against St. Louis, but ended up losing 4-2. He allowed three runs and five hits over seven innings.
“I was probably just one pitch from getting out of the inning,” Perez said.
The Pirates dropped the series opener 6-5 in 10 innings Monday, falling to 0-4 all-time against the Rangers.
With McClendon back in the dugout after a two-game suspension, the Pirates lost for the eighth time in nine games despite scoring more than three runs for the first time in that span.
Craig Wilson hit a two-run homer for Pittsburgh.
Mark Texeira homered for Texas, his third in the last four games. The Rangers have won five of seven.
Alfonso Soriano extended his hitting streak to six games during which he is batting .385 (10-for-26) with a homer and three RBIs.
STANDINGS (through June 8): Pirates - 6th place, 8 GB, NL Central. Rangers - 3rd place, 1 GB, AL West.
PIRATES GAME 1 PROBABLE STARTER: Perez (3-3, 3.20 ERA). Perez has given up three runs or fewer in each of his last three starts. He has never faced the Rangers.
RANGERS GAME 1 PROBABLE STARTER: Benoit (2-2, 5.77 ERA). Benoit is 1-2 with a 7.68 ERA in his last four starts, including a 4-0 road loss to the Chicago White Sox on May 26. The 26-year-old right-hander lasted four innings, giving up four runs and six hits. Benoit, who will be facing the Pirates for the first time, is 2-0 with a 5.02 ERA at home this season.
PIRATES GAME 2 PROBABLE STARTER: Fogg (3-4, 5.98 ERA). Fogg, who has allowed two runs or fewer in two of his past three outings, had perhaps his strongest start of the season Friday. The 27-year-old right-hander allowed just four hits over seven scoreless innings, but did not get a decision in Pittsburgh’s 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs. Fogg lost his only previous start against the Rangers, allowing four earned runs over five innings.
RANGERS GAME 2 PROBABLE STARTER: Rogers (8-2, 3.64 ERA). After winning four straight starts, Rogers had perhaps his worst outing of the season Friday. The 39-year-old left-hander lasted just four innings, giving up six runs and eight hits, including five homers, in the Rangers’ 7-6 loss to the New York Yankees. Rogers is 1-0 with an 0.89 ERA in three career games against the Pirates.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Pirates, 0-1. Rangers, 1-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Pirates - The Pirates have had eight games postponed by weather, the most since they also had eight in 1983. … SS Jack Wilson went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts Monday, ending his 11-game hitting streak. … The Pirates were swept by the Rangers in three straight in 2002. Rangers - 3B Blalock has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games. … 2B Soriano is the only current Texas player to have faced LHP Perez, going 2-for-3 against him. … Texas has scored 651 runs in interleague play, the most by any team since AL and NL teams started playing each other during the regular season in 1997.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Pirates - 15-12 on the road; Rangers - 17-9 at home.
INJURIES: Pirates - C Humberto Cota (oblique), 15-day DL; INF Freddy Sanchez (ankle), 15-day DL; OF J.J. Davis (finger), 15-day DL; RHP Brian Boehringer (shoulder), 15-day DL. Rangers - OF Brian Jordan (knee), 15-day DL; OF Kevin Mench (oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Jeff Nelson (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (back), 15-day DL; RHP Mickey Callaway (ulnar nerve), 60-day DL; RHP Colby Lewis (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; C Gerald Laird (thumb), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (shoulder), 60-day DL.