Texas (68-54) at Tampa Bay (67-55)

Fair Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 76° F
  • Game info: 1:38 pm EDT Sun Aug 23, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Last month, Tampa Bay went to Texas and was swept in a three-game series by the Rangers. Seven weeks later, the Rays are on the verge of returning the favor.

The surging Rays look to complete a sweep of this key series with the Rangers on Sunday at Tropicana Field.

Carlos Pena(notes) homered twice and drove in the winning run with a single in the 10th inning to give Tampa Bay (67-55) a 5-4 win over Texas on Saturday.

“We played a good game. They just played better than us,” said the Rangers’ Marlon Byrd(notes), who hit a game-tying homer in the ninth.

The Rays, winners of six of seven, are three games behind wild-card leader Boston and one back of the second-place Rangers (68-54), who’ve lost four of five.

Tampa Bay has scored 10 runs in the first two games of this set, much better production after being outscored 20-7 while getting swept at Texas from July 3-5. The Rays last swept a series with the Rangers from May 15-17, 2007.

Pena, who entered this series 0 for 8 against Texas this season, is 4 for 7 with three home runs and five RBIs in the last two games. He has three of his 16 career multihomer games this season, and eight of his 34 home runs over his last 14 games.

“Carlos swung at strikes and didn’t miss them,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.

Pena is 0 for 2 with three walks against Texas’ scheduled starter Scott Feldman(notes) (12-4, 4.06 ERA), who’ll again try for his fourth straight victory.

The right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against Tampa Bay. He earned that victory after giving up two runs and three hits in six innings of a 5-2 win over the Rays on July 5.

In his most recent start, Feldman allowed five runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings, but didn’t receive a decision in a 9-6 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday.

“When you take the ball as often as he does, that’s what will happen to you,” manager Ron Washington told the Rangers’ official Web site of Feldman, who couldn’t hold a 4-0 lead.

The Rays counter with rookie David Price(notes) (6-5, 5.03), who looks to continue his run of success at home while trying for better outing against Rangers than his previous effort.

Price lasted 1 1-3 innings, allowing six runs and walking five to take the loss in a 12-4 defeat at Texas on July 4.

The left-hander, however, is 6-1 with a 2.82 ERA in eight home starts. He gave up two runs in five innings in a 5-4 win over Baltimore on Tuesday to tie a club record by winning his fifth straight start at Tropicana Field.

“I wish I could’ve commanded the zone a little bit better, but that’s baseball,” Price told the Rays’ official Web site.

Texas’ Michael Young(notes) is 1 for 1 with three RBIs against Price, and 9 for 18 versus the Rays this season after homering for one of his three hits Saturday.

Byrd has 13 RBIs in his last 13 games for the Rangers, who’ve scored seven runs and have 13 hits in the series after recording 17 hits in an 11-1 win over Minnesota on Thursday.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Feldman Hou vs. D. Price Det
17-8 Record 10-7
4.08 ERA 4.42
113 K 102
65 BB 54
1.28 WHIP 1.35


Sunday, Aug 23