The Arizona Diamondbacks managed to earn a split of their two-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays by finally breaking out on offense. The win on Wednesday snapped a three-game losing streak.
Feb 20, 2013; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zeke Spruill (67) poses for a picture during photo day at the Diamondbacks Spring Training Facility. Image Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
They will continue their road trip by playing a makeup game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Thursday evening.
Arizona will face another American League team that is playing well, as the Rangers just completed a three-game sweep at home against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
They won each game via a walk-off home run, and it is the first time in club history Texas has accomplished this feat.
They are the first team to do this since Arizona did the very same thing to the Montreal Expos in May of 1999.
This will be a continuation of the series which took place in May, when Arizona went 2-1 against them.
Spruill will be recalled to make the start against the Rangers. This will be his first career big league start. He appeared in four games for Arizona earlier this year and allowed just one run in 4 1/3 innings. He will take the rotation spot of Ian Kennedy, as he was traded to the San Diego Padres just before the trade deadline.
Spruill is coming off an impressive start for Triple-A Reno on Saturday; he gave up six hits and one walk in eight shutout innings against Tacoma.
Darvish is 2-4 with a 2.66 ERA in his last 11 starts. He has allowed just one run in 12 1/3 innings in his last two starts since coming off the disabled list. Darvish started against the D-backs on May 27 in Arizona and took the loss. He leads the AL in strikeouts with 172 and is first with 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
A key for Arizona in this game and in the next couple of games is to get their offense going. They manage to start the game off strong, then fall back into bad habits and struggle to score runs. If the offense shows some consistency, they have a chance to string together many straight wins.