A recent offensive outburst has the Texas Rangers on the verge of sweeping their first series of the season.
The Rangers go for a season-high third straight win Sunday when they wrap up a weekend series with the struggling Toronto Blue Jays.
Texas (12-18) beat Toronto 11-4 on Saturday for its second straight win since losing a season-high five in a row. The Rangers, who scored just 10 runs during that recent skid, have scored 18 in their last two victories which included a 7-1 rout of the Blue Jays (13-17) in Friday’s series opener.
The Rangers have not swept a series since beating Seattle in a four-game set from Aug. 10-13.
On Saturday, Michael Young—who is hitting just .225—went 3-for-5 with a homer, five RBIs and three runs, while Mark Teixeira went 2-for-5 with three RBIs. The Rangers matched a season high with 15 hits.
“It’s always good to see results because it benefits the team,” said Young, the 2005 AL batting champion with a .331 average. “It’s nice to go out there and score some runs and put some points on the board. Hopefully we can make this last and remain confident as a team.”
Young is 6-for-9 with five RBIs and five runs in the series after going hitless in his previous three games. Teixeira is 7-for-15 with five RBIs and four runs in his last four games.
Texas, which is hitting .241 as a team and was no-hit by Chicago’s Mark Buehrle last month, is batting .382 in the series.
“I’m happy to see us swing the bats and get some hits,” Rangers rookie manager Ron Washington said. “That’s been the forte here up and down the lineup. Maybe our luck is changing.”
The Rangers offense could stay hot Sunday against A.J. Burnett, who has been inconsistent so far in 2007.
Burnett (2-2, 5.45 ERA) allowed seven runs and eight hits in five innings of the Blue Jays’ 12-4 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday. That came after he gave up four hits in seven scoreless innings in a victory over the New York Yankees on April 26.
“You want to repeat every fifth day out there, and I’m not doing that,” Burnett told the Blue Jays’ official Web site. “I just need to be more consistent.”
The right-hander has no record and a 3.14 ERA in two starts against Texas.
The Blue Jays need a strong outing from Burnett after ace Roy Halladay was roughed up for a season-high nine runs in 5 1-3 innings on Saturday. Toronto pitchers have allowed 43 runs for an 8.79 ERA and .345 opponent batting average during its losing streak.
Loe, who is 1-2 with a 7.98 ERA as a starter, allowed nine runs and 10 hits in four innings of the Rangers’ 10-1 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday. He is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in three relief appearances against Toronto.