Toronto Blue Jays (50-50) at Texas Rangers (57-43) Game 2 of 3 Brief Preview (7:05 pm CT)


After Nelson Cruz got a career-high of eight RBIs in last night’s opener at home against the Toronto Blue Jays, I can only expect two more wins out of this series. The Rangers are hot and their 12-2 victory proves that. Tonight, they’ll look for two straight wins to build their winning streak back up to hopefully at least where it was before the Los Angeles Angels defeated them.

Matt Harrison, who has been the subject of trade talks – which I will get to this upcoming week – will be the Rangers’ starting pitcher tonight. Harrison is 8-7 with a 2.91 ERA. The 25-year-old left-handed pitcher has been awesome in his previous 10 starts with the Rangers – eight of which are quality outings for him. He did have a problem against the Blue Jays when he pitched to them on April 26 at which time he pitched for only three innings permitting seven runs on eight hits, taking the loss and increasing his career ERA against Toronto to an ugly 13.50.

Blue Jays will counter with Carlos Villanueva. The 27-year-old is 5-2 with a 3.31 ERA this year. This will be his 11th start of the season and is entering tonight after having taken the loss last time out against the New York Yankees lasting six innings and permitting five runs on eight hits. He has yet to get a win this month although he has put up plenty of quality starts. While he has never started against Texas, he has pitched to them in four relief instances. He is 1-0 during that time with a 2.35 ERA. He has pitched 3.1 innings earlier this year in a long relief appearance against the Rangers holding the Rangers to no runs even though the Rangers still defeated them 8-7.

The Rangers don’t have much experience against Villanueva and Adam Lind (2-for-5 with one home run) and Jose Bautista (2-for-4 with one double) have the best odds on getting a hit off Matty.