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Greinke aims for strong outing versus Rangers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Texas Rangers at Arizona Diamondbacks

  1. The Rangers are 22-15 all-time against Arizona, with the teams splitting four games last year. Texas was 9-11 in interleague play last season, its first year with a losing record versus the NL since 2006 (7-11).
  2. After an 11-4 win over the Angels last Thursday, Texas scored four runs combined in losing the final three games of the series. They've averaged 8.0 runs in their five wins this season, and 1.8 runs in their five losses.
  3. Arizona is scoring 6.1 runs per game (fifth in MLB), but allowing 6.7 per contest (second most in MLB; Cubs, 7.1). Their 12.8 combined runs per game (scored and allowed) are the third most of any team.
  4. David Peralta ranks second in the NL to the Dodgers' Cody Bellinger in both batting average (.413, to Bellinger's .435) and base hits (19, to Bellinger's 20). He's the fifth D-back to hit safely in his first 10 games of a season; none of the previous four had their streak reach 11 games.
  5. Zack Greinke has allowed six home runs in two starts this season, tied for his most allowed over any back-to-back outings in his career. He also hit a pair of homers in last Tuesday's win over San Diego, joining Micah Owings (Aug. 18, 2007) as the only Arizona pitchers with a multi-homer game.
  6. Joey Gallo homered in all three games he appeared in against the Angels, his only three hits in the series. For his career, 40.5 percent of his base hits have been home runs (92/227), the highest rate in MLB history among players with at least 200 hits.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/9/2019 thru 4/10/2019

The Arizona Diamondbacks' starting pitching generally had a rough first turn through the rotation, with Zack Greinke and Zack Godley each allowing seven earned runs, and Luke Weaver not making it out of the fourth inning.

The second time through was much better.

The third time through starts Tuesday when Arizona begins a two-game home interleague series against the Texas Rangers.

Two pitchers coming off big performances -- Greinke (1-1) and Texas left-hander Mike Minor (1-1) -- will get the call.

"I believed in those guys, even though they had a rough first go-around," Diamondbacks' manager Torey Lovullo said of his starting staff. "Maybe it was some anxiety, some nervous energy coming out of spring training and wanting to do so well. I don't know. But they're an easy group to bet on.

"I think we have transitioned here. Typically, Arizona was a team that would smash the baseball and try to out-slug you. But we're transitioning to a complete team with really strong starting pitching. I think that is what is going to carry us over the course of the year. So, I have been very pleased with these past five outings."

Greinke, a veteran right-hander, got it started by doing it all in an 8-5 win at the San Diego Padres last Tuesday. He allowed three runs in six innings, striking out 10, walking none, and hitting two home runs and driving in four.

He is 3-6 with 2.82 ERA in 16 career appearances (14 starts) against the Rangers, including a loss last season when he allowed four runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Like Greinke, Minor bounced back from a bad 2019 debut -- six runs in 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Chicago Cubs. Minor fired seven scoreless innings against the Houston Astros on Wednesday. He credited his fastball as being the biggest difference, using that to get ahead and getting 21 called strikes overall.

"He has something to prove," Rangers manager Chris Woodward said after that game.

"Coming into the season, he was named Opening Day starter. It meant a lot to him. He said he has always been looked at as a No. 4 or No. 5. To be the No. 1 meant a lot to him. ... I just love that everything he has done since spring training has been done with conviction. The ball is coming out of his hand with conviction, and as the season goes along, it's only going to get better."

Minor is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in four appearances against the Diamondbacks, including two relief appearances in 2017. He started against Arizona once each in 2012 and 2013, winning both games and allowing a combined three runs (two earned) in 14 2/3 innings.

Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is hitting .366 through 10 games. Left fielder Joey Gallo has a team-high four home runs and 11 RBIs.

Arizona left fielder David Peralta is hitting .413 with eight doubles in 10 games. Center fielder Adam Jones has socked four homers to go with his .364 average.

The Diamondbacks and Rangers split four games last season, with each going 1-1 at home.

--Field Level Media

Updated April 8, 2019

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