The Rangers go for their third consecutive victory Tuesday night when right-hander Nick Tepesch makes his major league debut against the Tampa Bay Rays and right-hander Roberto Hernandez. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. on FSSW and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.
Tepesch (0-0, 0.00): Tepesch is making his big league debut. ... The 24-year-old pitched for Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday, allowing an unearned run in five innings. He gave up five hits, had five strikeouts and no walks. He threw 77 pitches, 56 of them for strikes. ... Tepesch was 0-1 with a 6.50 ERA this spring. ... He closed out the spring with a strong effort for Triple-A Round Rock, allowing a run in six innings against Triple-A Tuscon. ... The 6-foot-4, 225-pound right-hander was selected in the 14th round of the 2010 draft. ... Tepesch was 6-3 with a 4.28 ERA for Double-A Frisco last season. ... He was rated as the 19th-best prospect in the organization by Baseball America and was picked to have the best slider and control in the Rangers' farm system.
Hernandez (0-1, 5.40): The 32-year-old makes his second start of the season after allowing four runs on six hits in a 6-3 loss to Baltimore. ... Hernandez hasn't won a big league start since Sept. 20, 2011 against the Chicago White Sox, when he was pitching for Cleveland. ... Hernandez had seven strikeouts and two walks against the Orioles, allowing a two-run home run to ex-Ranger Chris Davis. ... Hernandez is a ground-ball pitcher, holding the fourth-highest ground ball-to-fly ball ratio (2.47) in the major leagues since 2008. He trails only Rangers reliever Derek Lowe (2.85), Jake Westbrook (2.67) and Aaron Cook (2.63). ... Hernandez was 0-2 with a 5.33 ERA in the spring. ... He is 8-23 with a 4.14 ERA in his career against AL West teams. ... Hernandez is 2-6 against the Rangers with a 5.37 ERA and has not defeated Texas since Aug. 22, 2008.
Hitters: Tepesch has never faced any Rays hitters in the big leagues. ... David Murphy (7-for-14, 3 RBIs), Elvis Andrus (5-for-14, 2 RBIs) and Nelson Cruz (5-for-16, 3 HRs, 5 RBIs) have had success against Hernandez. Adrian Beltre has two home runs in 13 at-bats against him.