Following a day off, the Rangers look to solve one the majors’ hottest pitchers in the opener of a three-game road series with the Florida Marlins on Tuesday night.
Texas (35-28), fourth in the AL with 321 runs scored, has been particularly productive over its last six games, averaging 7.3 runs en route to winning five of those contests.
The Rangers began that stretch by scoring seven runs against Seattle’s Felix Hernandez(notes) in a 7-1 victory last Tuesday night. In its last game, Texas managed four runs in six innings versus emerging Milwaukee right-hander Yovani Gallardo(notes), winning 7-2 on Sunday.
Now, the Rangers appear to have an even tougher test ahead as they face Johnson (7-2, 1.91 ERA), who is 4-1 with a 0.43 ERA over his last six starts for the Marlins (31-32). His only loss during that span was against Philadelphia on May 29, when Roy Halladay(notes) pitched a perfect game.
The right-hander outpitched Halladay in a rematch to win his last outing, surrendering three hits in eight innings of a 2-0 victory over the Phillies on Thursday night.
Hamilton has homered in four of his last five games, giving him 15 this season, and is riding a career high-tying 10-game hitting streak. Hamilton is batting .372 with eight homers and 23 RBIs over his last 24 contests.
“He’s swinging the bat as well as I’ve seen him swing it,” manager Ron Washington said.
Veteran third baseman Michael Young(notes) has also had a strong week, going 9 for 21 (.429) with two homers and four RBIs over his last five games. His 1,746 career hits are one shy of tying Ivan Rodriguez’s(notes) franchise record.
Florida has had an impressive run at the plate of its own. The Marlins scored 25 runs while winning two of three against Tampa Bay over the weekend, including a 6-1 victory in Sunday’s series finale.
Highly-touted outfield prospect Mike Stanton had two RBIs on Sunday for the second time in the weekend series. He is 7 for 19 (.368) in five games since being called up from Double-A Jacksonville on Tuesday.
“Pretty productive,” Stanton said. “I’m learning a lot, still. I’m fine with it. There’s always room for improvement but I’m satisfied for the first week. Just keep pushing forward.”
Florida now faces Texas starter C.J. Wilson(notes) (5-3, 3.52), who has won two straight starts after losing his previous two. The left-hander gave up two runs in seven innings of a 12-2 win over Seattle on Wednesday night.
Wilson has never started against the Marlins, though did appear in relief at Florida twice in June 2005, throwing a total of 2-3 inning and not allowing a run.
The Marlins won two of three games in that series, the most recent between these teams.