Now that the Arizona Diamondbacks are back to .500, the next goal is to climb back into the National League West race. The defending division champions have won five in a row entering a three-game series at American League West leaderTexas Rangers. The Diamondbacks had not seen .500 since May 5 until Sunday’s 4-3 victory over Oakland, and are 8½ games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rangers’ beat-up pitching staff suffered another blow in Sunday’s 5-0 victory over San Francisco. Alexi Ogando left the game in the fourth inning with a strained right groin and could end up on the disabled list.
Texas already has disabled pitchers Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland. Outfielder Nelson Cruz missed Sunday’s game with a sore right Achilles’ heel, but is expected back in the lineup Tuesday. The Rangers have won four of eight since a four-game losing streak and lead the AL West by three games over the Angels.
Diamondbacks Rangers Betting
When: 8:05 PM ET, Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Where: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, FS Arizona, FS Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Arizona RH Ian Kennedy (5-5, 3.93 ERA) vs. Texas RH Colby Lewis (4-5, 3.38)
Kennedy has recovered from a five-start losing streak, winning his past two outings. He beat the Rockies last Tuesday, striking out 12 in six shutout innings. Displaying excellent control, Kennedy has walked more than two hitters only once this season while racking up 31 strikeouts in his past three starts.
Lewis has not won in his past three starts, going 0-2 since beating Houston on May 20. He allowed only two earned runs on six hits in his last start, an eight-inning effort Wednesday at Oakland. Lewis has walked only two hitters in his past four starts (28 innings), striking out 20.
1. Texas just finished a 10-game road trip, and will play 16 of its next 19 at home.
2. Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt extended his hitting streak to 17 games Sunday.
3. The Rangers have four pinch-hit home runs this season.