Kenny Rogers will take his third shot at win No. 16 when the Texas Rangers conclude a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Metrodome. More importantly, he’ll try to keep the slumping Rangers in the thick of the AL wild-card race.
Rogers, Texas’ staff ace, has been stuck on 15 wins since Aug. 18, when he beat Cleveland 5-2 at Ameriquest Field in Arlington.
The veteran left-hander has gone 0-1 in two starts since, but did pitch effectively in Saturday’s 4-3 victory over Baltimore. Rogers allowed three runs and six hits over 6 2-3 innings, striking out eight and walking three.
“Kenny’s effort was outstanding,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “He kept competing. He’s not the type of guy who’s going to sit there and not compete.”
Rogers is trying to win 16 games for the first time since 1998, when he went 16-8 for Oakland. With a month to play, he is well within reach of his career-best total of 17 set in 1995.
The Rangers have lost three straight to slip five games behind streaking Boston in the AL wild-card race. With a big three-game series at Fenway Park looming this weekend, Texas needs a big effort from Rogers on Thursday.
Terry Tiffee hit a go-ahead two-run double in his major league debut to give the Twins a 4-2 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday.
Trailing 2-1, the Twins scored three runs in the eighth with the last two coming on Tiffee’s high chopper off Francisco Cordero that hopped over first base. Cordero had converted 21 straight save opportunities for the Rangers.
Shannon Stewart homered for Minnesota, which extended its lead over Cleveland in the AL Central to eight games.