|10:10 AM PT11:10 AM MT12:10 PM CT1:10 PM ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 AM MST12:10 PM EST12:40 PM VEN21:10 UAE12:10 PM CT, June 16, 2019
Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio Attendance: 24,079
Rangers, Jurado looking for sweep of Reds
Texas Rangers at Cincinnati Reds
- The Rangers have hit 20 home runs in interleague play this season, second most in baseball behind the Cubs (28). They also have allowed 17 home runs to NL opponents, tied for third most in MLB.
- Cincinnati is averaging 2.56 runs this month, last in MLB. However, Cincinnati's opponents are averaging 3.11 runs this month, second fewest in baseball behind the Dodgers (2.18).
- Texas is 89-64 all-time against the NL Central, third best since the division began in 1994 behind only the Yankees (56-27) and Red Sox (50-33). The Reds are 27-44 all-time against the AL West, worst by any team since the AL West formed in 1969.
- Shin-soo Choo has posted a .569 on-base percentage in the first inning this season, by far the highest in MLB (Alex Bregman is second at .463, minimum 50 PA). Although the former Red is hitting .205 this month, Choo's on-base percentage is .392 in June, up from .349 in May.
- After slugging .841 in May, Derek Dietrich's slugging percentage is .233 in June. That is the largest decrease (.608) by any player in MLB (minimum 30 plate appearances each month).
- The Rangers have scored 53 runs in the first inning this season, most in MLB. The Reds have outscored their opponents by 26 runs in the first inning, best in baseball.
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The Texas Rangers aim to record their third series sweep of the season on Sunday when they play the finale of a three-game set against the host Cincinnati Reds.
The Rangers, who swept the Los Angeles Angels in April and Seattle in May, have benefited from a pair of two-run first innings to take each of the first two contests of their series versus the Reds.
"To get three is a big one. It's hard to sweep a major league team, but we have an opportunity to do that," Texas manager Chris Woodward said following Saturday's 4-3 win. "We've got a pretty good one in (Ariel) Jurado going for us.
"We're going to come out with a ton of energy and kind of take it to them, because a lot of times if you jump out early on a team that is down 2-0 in the series, you tend to step on them a little bit."
Jurado (4-2, 3.02 ERA) improved to 3-0 with a 3.70 ERA in his last four starts on Tuesday after allowing three runs on five hits in six innings of a 9-5 win at Boston.
Jurado will be making his 27th career appearance (14th start) and first versus Cincinnati. The 23-year-old right-hander has not faced anyone on the Reds' current roster, although he would be wise to pitch carefully to Yasiel Puig.
Puig, who had three hits in the Reds' 7-1 setback in the series opener, extended his hitting streak to four games with a two-run homer in the fourth inning on Saturday.
Curt Casali also went deep for the Reds, who sustained their third loss in four games and 15th one-run setback this season.
"It's frustrating to lose any way," Cincinnati manager David Bell said of the close losses. "There's no good way to lose, but it makes you feel like you're so close."
The availability of Reds rookie Nick Senzel is in question after he fouled a pitch that caromed off both the ground and his foot before bouncing back toward his face.
"It just hit me in the eye," said the 23-year-old Senzel, who noted that he needed "three or four" stitches to close the wound.
"I don't know what to say. I just got hit in the eye and got stitches. I'll try to throw some ice on it and get the swelling down. I don't think it's that big of a deal."
Cincinnati right-hander Sonny Gray (2-5, 3.65 ERA) hopes his previous success against Texas continues in the series finale, as he sports an 8-3 record with a 2.72 ERA in 14 career appearances (13 starts) versus the Rangers.
Gray has kept Rougned Odor (4-for-31, eight strikeouts), Asdrubal Cabrera (2-for-14) and Elvis Andrus 7-for-37, eight strikeouts) under wraps, although former Red Shin-Soo Choo is batting a robust .320 (8-for-25) versus the hurler.
The 29-year-old Gray received a no-decision in his last trip to the mound last Sunday despite allowing three runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings at Philadelphia.
--Field Level Media
Updated June 16, 2019