The Rangers (38-32) swept Arizona in three games over the weekend and are looking to win four straight for the first time since April 29-May 4, when they won a season-high six in a row.
The victories over the Diamondbacks improved Texas’ record to 4-3 on its 10-game homestand and gave it a 19-19 mark at Ameriquest Field.
The Rangers have been one of the league’s best road teams—their .594 (19-13) winning percentage away from home is second in the AL to Detroit—but have struggled to find the same consistency in Texas.
This weekend’s results were a good start, including a 10-7 victory on Sunday. Shortstop Michael Young—starting at designated hitter—matched his career-high with five hits, including a double and a homer, and finished with three RBIs.
Young, who won the AL batting title last season with a .331 average, is batting .484 (15-for-31) in seven career starts at DH, and is hitting .367 in June. He has hits in 16 of 17 games this month.
“Every now and then I do enjoy (DHing) and this was the right time to get me off my feet,” said Young, who had five hits for the third time in his career. “But it’s different. I’m used to being in the field.”
Vicente Padilla (6-4, 4.65 ERA) looks to build off his best start of the season when he takes the mound for the Rangers on Tuesday. With his fastball working, Padilla allowed only three hits in eight innings as Texas beat the Chicago White Sox 8-0 on Wednesday.
“Each one of those pitches looks different halfway to home plate. His ability to mix them all in, use every part of the strike zone was key,” Texas catcher Rod Barajas said. “I had the easiest job on the field. He had it going on.”
It was Padilla’s best performance since Aug. 13, when he allowed four hits in seven shutout innings against the Padres (36-33).
The right-hander, who pitched in the NL from 1999-2005 with Arizona and Philadelphia, is 2-1 with a 2.98 ERA in 14 appearances against San Diego.
San Diego has won four of its past six games and got some offense Sunday despite missing leadoff hitter Dave Roberts, who injured his right knee on Saturday trying to make a catch and will be out at least two weeks after being placed on the disabled list Sunday.
“We have great hitters here, man,” Vinny Castilla said. “It’s just a matter of time. Go through this lineup, most of the guys are proven (hitters). I think it’s clicking … about to take off.”
Brian Giles may be one of those ready to take off. He went 7-for-13 in three games against the Angels and has had plenty of success against Padilla and Kevin Millwood, who’ll start for Texas in Thursday’s series finale.
Giles is 4-for-9 against Padilla with two homers and four RBIs and is 4-for-12 with two homers and five RBIs against Millwood.
Rookie Mike Thompson (2-2, 4.24), searching for his first win since May 23, starts for the Padres on Tuesday. The right-hander won his first two major league starts, but is winless in his last four outings.
He allowed only three hits and two runs in seven innings against the Dodgers on Wednesday, but didn’t receive a decision in San Diego’s 5-3 victory.
San Diego and Texas have split their 16 meetings, with the Padres winning three of the last four. This is their first meeting since 2001.
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