Current Conditions - Arlington
P/SUNNY 88 °F
Wind: SE 12
Pittsburgh Pirates (28-19) at Texas Rangers (27-21)
Saturday, May 28 - 7:15 PM EST
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
The Pittsburgh Pirates attempt to match their season high with a sixth consecutive victory when they visit the Texas Rangers on Saturday for the middle contest of their three-game interleague series. Pittsburgh, which ended April with six straight victories, used a 14-hit attack that featured four home runs to roll to a 9-1 triumph over Texas in Monday's series opener.
Starling Marte belted one of the shots and finished 3-for-4 to give him at least one hit in eight of his last nine contests. Friday's setback was just the second in eight games for Texas, which managed just one run after producing 15 in a victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday. Adrian Beltre went 2-for-4 with a homer for the Rangers, who were without Rougned Odor as the second baseman began serving his seven-game suspension - reduced from eight - for an altercation with Toronto's Jose Bautista. Texas will look to bounce back from the rare defeat behind three-time All-Star Yu Darvish, who has been sidelined since August 2014 due to an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.
TV: 7:15 p.m. ET, FOX
PITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates RH Juan Nicasio (4-3, 4.46 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Yu Darvish (2014: 10-7, 3.06)
Nicasio will be making his first start since working one inning against Colorado on Sunday before the game was postponed. The 29-year-old Dominican notched the victory versus Atlanta on May 17 despite yielding five runs - three earned - in five innings. Nicasio won his only career start against Texas while with the Rockies on May 6, 2014, when he walked five but allowed just one run and two hits over five frames.
Darvish returns to make his first start since Aug. 8, 2014, when he was tagged for six runs - five earned - on nine hits and four walks in four innings at Houston. The 29-year-old from Japan, who will be limited to 85-90 pitches, went 1-1 with a 0.90 ERA and 21 strikeouts over 20 frames in five rehab starts between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock. Darvish suffered the hard-luck loss in his only career start against Pittsburgh on Sept. 9, 2013 after allowing just one run and four hits in seven innings.
1. Rangers RHP Shawn Tolleson took a family emergency medical leave Friday and was replaced on the roster by INF Jurickson Profar, who was recalled from Round Rock and will start at second base during Odor's absence.
2. Pittsburgh INF Jung Ho Kang has recorded 15 hits this season - 10 of which have gone for extra bases.
3. Texas C Robinson Chirinos (forearm) is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Frisco on Tuesday.
PREDICTION: Rangers 6, Pirates 3