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4
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Texas0 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 450
Pittsburgh0 0 1 2 2 0 0 0 x 581
5
  W: M. Feliz (2-0)   L: A. Sampson (0-2)   S: F. Vázquez (10)
4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, May 7, 2019
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 13,032

Suddenly hot-hitting Rangers make rare trip to Pittsburgh

According to STATS
According to STATS

Texas Rangers at Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. The Rangers won the last two games of a three-game set against the Blue Jays, scoring 18 runs in those two wins after being shut out, 1-0, in the first game. They are averaging 8.88 runs in their 16 wins this season compared to 2.94 in their 16 losses -- that's the largest difference (5.94) in MLB.
  2. After losing eight consecutive games, Pittsburgh has won four of its last five. The Pirates are averaging 5.0 runs and hitting .263 with runners in scoring position in their last five games after averaging 2.3 runs and hitting .190 with RISP in their previous eight games.
  3. The Pirates are 21-6 in interleague play since last season, best in MLB, and have played five straight interleague games, winning four of them. Texas has a 5.31 ERA in interleague games since last season, third highest in MLB.
  4. Elvis Andrus recorded his 1600th career hit on Sunday, becoming the fourth player in Rangers history with at least 1600 hits. Only Michael Young (2230), Pudge Rodriguez (1747) and Rafael Palmeiro (1692) have more hits in a Rangers uniform.
  5. Josh Bell is on a six-game hitting streak, recording an extra-base hit in five of those games. Since April 21, he is batting .269 with a .692 slugging percentage -- that .423 isolated power (slugging minus average) is the fifth highest in the National League (minimum 50 plate appearances).
  6. Joey Gallo has recorded a true outcome (walk, home run, strikeout) in all but one game this season (his five RBI game on April 21). Of his 126 plate appearances this season, 61.1 percent have ended in a true outcome, highest in MLB among qualifiers.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 5/7/2019 thru 5/8/2019

The Texas Rangers will play in Pittsburgh for the first time since 2007 when they open a two-game series against the Pirates at PNC Park on Tuesday. But the teams are hardly unfamiliar with each other.

Pittsburgh swept two games last week at Arlington, Texas, 6-4 in 11 innings on April 30 and 7-5 on Wednesday.

Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor was 0-for-9 in the series, part of a hitless funk that spanned 21 at-bats. On Sunday, however, Odor broke out of it with a two-run homer and an RBI single in Texas' 10-2 home win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

"I was not getting frustrated," Odor told reporters of his slump. "I have been through this before. I was just staying positive, playing the game and keep swinging. I wasn't feeling bad. I knew I was close to getting back to where I can be. I was just a little late on pitches. The coaches just said, 'Get back your timing and you will be fine."'

The Rangers won two of three against the Blue Jays, outscoring Toronto 18-8. The Pirates won two of three in their last series, an interleague matchup against Oakland, despite being outscored 21-12.

"We're going to have to find a way to score more runs," Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington said. "We're going to have to figure out a way to cover those nine innings and keep our opponents' run totals down. It's going to be a challenge, but we've already faced a ton of adversity, and this club continues to fight and fight its way to .500 and now hopefully push above it."

Injuries have been one of the biggest points of adversity. Outfielders and pitchers have been particularly hard hit.

One of the outfielders who has spent time on the injured list, Starling Marte, hit a walk-off three-run homer in the 13th inning Sunday.

"More than anything, it's keeping a positive mindset within the clubhouse," Marte said through an interpreter. "The second thing is the energy, making sure that we're giving out positive energy to one another."

Pittsburgh has had to revamp its rotation with Jameson Taillon and Chris Archer hurt. So left-hander Steven Brault (0-1, 8.31 ERA) will get the start Tuesday against Texas right-hander Adrian Sampson (0-1, 3.58).

Brault has spent time with the Pirates and in Triple-A Indianapolis this season, appearing in four games for Pittsburgh -- all out of the bullpen. His last start was April 27, 2018.

Brault's most recent appearance was April 30 at Texas, when he pitched two scoreless innings and struck out three of the six batters he faced. It was the only one of his four appearances this season when he has not been scored upon. It was also the only time in his career he has faced the Rangers.

Sampson started the April 30 game and pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings with five hits, a season-high five strikeouts and no walks. He has a scoreless streak of 9 2/3 innings over his past three appearances.

Sampson has pitched both out of the bullpen and as part of the rotation. He made the most of his start against the Pirates, including a season-high 82 pitches, before Pittsburgh came back for a 6-4 win against the relievers.

"The first time through the lineup I felt like I saw what they were doing and I made a couple adjustments on where to put the pitches, and after that I got on a little roll," Sampson said.

--Field Level Media

Updated May 7, 2019

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