Tampa Bay (44-70) at Texas (49-65)

Cloudy Currently: Arlington, TX
Temp: 53° F
  • Game info: 8:35 pm EDT Fri Aug 10, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays haven’t had much success on the road this season. They have, though, played well against the Texas Rangers.

The Devil Rays look to win three straight road games for the first time in almost two years, while trying for a fifth consecutive victory over the Rangers on Friday in a matchup of two last-place teams.

Tampa Bay (44-70) - last in the AL East and 25 games behind first-place Boston - beat Detroit 8-1 on Thursday to split a four-game road set with the Tigers.

At 18-37, the Devil Rays have the worst road record in the majors and haven’t won three in a row away from Tropicana Field since Sept. 25-28, 2005. Tampa Bay had lost eight straight on the road before a 7-1 victory over the Tigers on Wednesday.

The Devil Rays are 4-2 against the Rangers this season - their best record against any AL opponent. Tampa Bay, though, did drop two of three in Arlington, Texas from April 9-11.

On Thursday, Carl Crawford went 3-for-4 at Detroit with a two-run homer to raise his average to .433 (39-for-90) since the All-Star break. The left fielder is batting .600 (24-for-40) with four homers and eight RBIs during his 10-game hitting streak, but is just 1-for-11 against Brandon McCarthy, who will start the series opener for Texas.

“Everything he hits right now - breaking balls, fastballs - it doesn’t matter,” Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Crawford. “He’s locked in right now.”

McCarthy (5-8, 5.04 ERA) allowed two runs over six innings Sunday for his second straight quality start, but suffered a hard-luck 4-1 loss at Toronto.

“At the beginning of the year, it was a crap shoot,” McCarthy, who has yielded three earned runs or fewer in six straight starts, told the Rangers’ official Web site. “Now, I’m miles ahead and back to where I want to be.”

The right-hander is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in five games - four starts - versus the Devil Rays. He is 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts against them this season.

Rookie Andy Sonnanstine (1-7, 6.12) will try for his first win in two months when he takes the mound for Tampa Bay on Friday. He allowed seven runs and eight hits in a career-low 3 2-3 innings during Sunday’s 11-3 loss to Baltimore.

“All the starts that I’ve seen, I’ve felt that he’s given us a chance to win the game, except for (Sunday),” Maddon told the Devil Rays’ official Web site. “It was a mulligan kind of day. I’d like to just toss that one out.”

The right-hander, who is 0-7 in 10 starts since winning 9-4 at Florida on June 10, has never faced Texas.

Texas (49-65) - 17 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Angels for the AL West lead - lost 6-3 to Oakland on Wednesday for its sixth defeat in seven contests.

Brad Wilkerson drove in two of the Rangers’ three runs. Shortstop Michael Young went a pedestrian 1-for-4, but is still batting .444 (8-for-18) with a homer in his last five games.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Sonnanstine ChC vs. B. McCarthy LAD
6-10 Record 5-10
5.85 ERA 4.87
97 K 59
26 BB 48
1.35 WHIP 1.56

Scoreboard

Friday, Aug 10