After blowing a significant lead and eventually losing their last contest, the Texas Rangers have left themselves in position to drop consecutive series for the first time this season.
Facing Toronto's Ricky Romero likely won't make it easy for the Rangers to prevent that from happening.
The Rangers look to bounce back from a frustrating defeat when they conclude their three-game road set with the Blue Jays on Wednesday.
Texas (17-7) led 5-0 after two innings Tuesday, but Toronto scored four runs in the third and three in the seventh to take a one-run lead. The Rangers tied the game in the ninth on Michael Young's two-out single, but Brett Lawrie led off the bottom half of the frame with a homer to give Toronto an 8-7 victory.
"They beat us,'' said manager Ron Washington, whose team also committed two errors. "We may have helped them a little bit but they beat us.''
The loss is the third in five games for the AL West-leading Rangers, who dropped two of three at home to Tampa Bay over the weekend. Texas has yet to lose two in a row in 2012.
It faces a huge challenge against Romero (3-0, 3.18 ERA), who has allowed three runs and struck out 24 over 29 1-3 innings while going 2-1 in four starts against the Rangers. Though he has not faced Texas since 2010, Romero has yielded a run and fanned 14 in 16 innings while winning both of his starts against the Rangers at Rogers Centre.
The left-hander has allowed two earned runs in each of his last two starts, including Friday along with four hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 9-5, 10-inning loss to Seattle.
"That's the beauty of this sport," Romero told the Blue Jays' official website. "You come back. You just have to come back ready and focused."
Romero is 6-0 with a 2.78 ERA in 10 home starts dating to a 4-1 loss to the New York Yankees on July 16.
Texas' Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus are a combined 1 for 15 against Romero, but the pair went 5 for 10 with four RBIs on Tuesday. Andrus is 10 for 24 (.417) in his last six games while Kinsler is 11 for 32 (.344) in his past eight.
It's uncertain if slugger Josh Hamilton will miss a third straight game with back stiffness. He's hitting .395 with nine homers and 25 RBIs in 22 games this season.
Scheduled Rangers starter Matt Harrison (3-1, 3.38) was 7-0 with a 2.24 ERA in his previous eight regular-season starts before he allowed seven runs and a career-high 14 hits in five innings of an 8-4 loss to Tampa Bay on Friday.
"That's the way it goes,'' Harrison said. "I'll have to go and make some adjustments."
The left-hander likely needs to make some adjustments if he wants to improve on his 0-1 record and 10.54 ERA in three starts versus Toronto (13-11).
Jose Bautista is 3 for 7 without a homer against Harrison, but the two-time reigning major league home run champ delivered a solo shot for his fourth of the season Tuesday. That snapped a seven-game drought without a homer for Bautista, who is batting .186.
- Ricky Romero