ARLINGTON, Texas -- Now it's on to the second-best team in the American League East, the Tampa Bay Rays, for the Texas Rangers. The opener of the three-game set is a duel of lefties as the AL's complete-game leader Cliff Lee takes on 15-game winner David Price.
Lee (10-5, 2.57): Lee is making his eighth start with the Rangers, yet still has just two wins with a 2.97 ERA in his first seven starts. He's coming off having tied his shortest stint of the season when he lasted 6 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and two runs in the seventh as Texas went on to blow a 6-1 lead in a 7-6 loss to the New York Yankees. It snapped Lee's stretch of 10 consecutive starts of at least eight innings, the longest streak by any pitcher since 1996. Lee took losses in both starts this season against the Rays, both with Seattle. He went eight innings in both games, allowing four earned runs on 10 hits on May 5 in Seattle and two earned runs on five hits on May 16 at Tampa.
Price (15-5, 2.84): The 6-foot-6 southpaw has won three of his last four starts and has not lost since July 18 when the New York Yankees tagged him for a season-high seven earned runs in five innings. It's the only time in Price's last 10 starts that he has surrendered more than three earned runs. Price has not faced the Rangers yet this season, but in his career he is 0-2 in three starts with a whopping 9.45 ERA over 13 1/3 innings.
Hitters: Nelson Cruz (.500) and Ian Kinsler (.333) have fared the best against Price, but Kinsler is hurt and Cruz likely won't play after getting an MRI exam on his ailing left hamstring in Arlington. Michael Young is 2-for-4 with a double off Price and Taylor Teagarden is 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles. Only three Rays are batting better than .240 against Lee, led by B.J. Upton (6-for-17) at .353 and Willy Aybar (3-for-9) at .333.