The Texas Rangers have built a sizable lead in the AL West in large part by thriving against division rivals. Facing AL East teams, however, has been a different story for the Rangers, even matchups with the last-place Baltimore Orioles.
The Rangers (67-53) hold a seven-game lead in their division as they continue a four-game series at Camden Yards. A 23-14 mark against the three other West clubs has helped build that advantage, but they’re just 12-22 against the East—2-5 versus the AL-worst Orioles (43-79).
Texas was shut out for the second time this season in its latest defeat to Baltimore on Thursday night, managing six singles and a double in the 4-0 defeat. The Rangers have lost a season high-tying six straight on the road and dropped eight of 11 overall.
The Rangers have batted .227 during their four consecutive defeats - 47 points below their season average. Josh Hamilton(notes) is hitless in 11 at-bats and 1 for 16 in his last five games. Michael Young(notes) went 1 for 4 in his return from neck stiffness Thursday, but Ian Kinsler(notes) (strained groin) and Nelson Cruz(notes) (strained left hamstring) are both on the disabled list.
The team’s pitching staff hasn’t been much better with a 5.53 ERA over the last 11 games, including a 7.59 mark in its last four. Wilson (11-5, 3.19 ERA) has been a notable exception to that trend, going 4-0 with a 2.72 ERA in his last six starts.
The left-hander allowed one run, four hits and one walk over 7 2-3 innings in Sunday’s 7-3 victory against Boston
“C.J. was the story,” Young told the team’s website. “That was just an incredible ballgame.”
Wilson gave up three runs and three hits July 11 against Baltimore, but walked a season-high five batters in a 4-1 loss and was lifted after throwing 111 pitches in 4 2-3 innings. He’s 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in two career starts versus the Orioles.
Arrieta gave up one run and six hits over 6 1-3 innings in that win, but is 1-2 with a 6.21 ERA in his six outings since. He took the loss in a 3-2 defeat in Tampa Bay on Sunday, allowing three runs and six hits over six innings.
Arrieta is 5 1-3 innings shy of matching his career high of 150 2-3 innings last season but told the team’s website, “Physically, I feel great,” following his latest start.
The Orioles are 8-3 at home under Showalter but have split their last 14 games there against the Rangers, who haven’t dropped seven consecutive road games since April 18-24, 2008.