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Toronto Blue Jays (35-36) at Texas Rangers (35-36)
Thursday, June 22 - 2:05 PM EST
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
The Toronto Blue Jays once again aim to boost their record to .500 when they conclude their four-game series against the host Texas Rangers on Thursday afternoon. Toronto is one game below the break-even mark for the ninth time this season but suffered a loss in each of the other eight attempts.
The Blue Jays' double-play combo of shortstop Ryan Goins (three RBIs) and second baseman Darwin Barney (two-run homer) combined to drive in five runs in Wednesday's 7-5 victory - Toronto's second in three games in the series. The hot-hitting Kendrys Morales registered his fourth consecutive two-hit performance and is 12-for-30 with three homers and eight RBIs during his seven-game hitting streak. Texas slugger Joey Gallo went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an inside-the-park homer in Wednesday's setback. Gallo was just 6-for-46 this month before the big performance, which represented his first multi-hit effort since May 30.
TV: 2:05 p.m. ET, Sportsnet (Toronto), FSN Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (7-3, 3.15 ERA) vs. Rangers LH Martin Perez (3-6, 4.72)
Stroman lost to the Chicago White Sox in his last turn after winning his previous six decisions. The 26-year-old gave up three runs and six hits in seven innings versus the White Sox after allowing a total of five runs over his prior three outings. Stroman won his lone career regular-season start against the Rangers when he gave up four hits over seven scoreless innings in 2014 and has shut down Mike Napoli (0-for-9).
Perez halted his four-start winless stretch by defeating Seattle in his last turn, when he gave up four runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings. The 26-year-old has served up eight of his nine homers at home, where he is 3-4 with a 5.01 ERA in nine outings this year. Perez is 0-1 with a 0.79 ERA in two career starts against Toronto - both last season.
1. Blue Jays SS Troy Tulowitzki was rested Wednesday but will be back in the starting lineup for the series finale.
2. Texas LHP Cole Hamels (oblique) tossed 81 pitches over 5 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Double-A Frisco on Wednesday and might be activated to start Monday against Cleveland.
3. Toronto LF Steve Pearce (knee) went 3-for-3 before departing shortly after colliding with the wall while pursuing Gallo's fifth-inning homer, but X-rays were negative.
PREDICTION: Blue Jays 9, Rangers 7