The surging Rangers look to continue their home success on Tuesday night when they oppose the Tigers in the middle game of this series.
Texas (55-42) is among the top home teams in the AL, posting a 33-19 mark after winning five in a row and 10 of 12 at Rangers Ballpark.
The Rangers extended their home winning streak Monday, beating the Tigers 5-2 for their first victory against them in seven meetings this season. Their seven-game slide versus Detroit (52-46) featured six losses on the road, and they’ve won four of the last five meetings as hosts while batting .287 with 10 homers.
Texas has won seven of its last eight overall to pull within 2 1/2 games of the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels.
Michael Young(notes) had three hits for the third consecutive game Monday, becoming the first AL player this season to accomplish that. He is batting .538 (14 for 26) with three homers and five RBIs in his last seven games.
The right-hander was scratched from his scheduled start Wednesday against Boston due to flulike symptoms, and lab reports Friday indicated he had H1N1 influenza A. He is thought to be the first athlete in U.S. major pro sports to be diagnosed with the ailment.
“Vicente, each day he’s getting better,” Rangers manager Ron Washington told the team’s official Web site. “He’s an animal, out there running and throwing. He’s back enough to start (Tuesday).”
Recently recovered from the illness, Padilla may not have the stamina to pitch deep into this game.
“We’re going to wait and see,” Washington said. “He may breeze through it or may work through it. When this stuff hits you, it’s not that easy.”
Padilla lost his first start after the All-Star break on July 17, allowing five runs and 11 hits in seven innings of a 5-3 loss to Minnesota.
He’s 3-2 with a 4.63 ERA in six starts against Detroit, losing his last two while surrendering 12 runs and 16 hits, including six homers, in nine innings.
The Tigers, who are 21-30 as visitors, hope to avoid seven straight road losses for the first time since May 2-16, 2008.
Detroit is hitting .199 with six homers and 12 runs in its last six away games, scoring three runs or less in each contest and in eight of 11 overall.
“There’s no excuse for as good a hitting team as we have,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said following Monday’s loss. “Offensively, we couldn’t muster anything.”
The left-hander has been impressive since being recalled from Triple-A Toledo on June 29, going 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA in four starts after making his first two major league appearances in relief.
French was effective in his last outing on Thursday despite losing 2-1 to Seattle. He allowed two runs and eight hits with six strikeouts before exiting with one out in the fifth.