What's new: The Rangers have been a mess, having lost six straight, nine of 10 and 12 of 15. Pitching has been the primary problem, as Texas starters are 1-11, 5.32 in the first 13 September games and with just four wins since Aug. 20. There also has been a power outage, as they are homerless in a season-high six straight games, their longest home drought. 1B Mitch Moreland is in an 0-for-21 skid, DH Lance Berkman is working back into form after his latest DL stint, OF Nelson Cruz is suspended. OF Alex Rios was acquired from the White Sox.
Key stat: The Rangers did not hold a lead during the six games and 54 innings of their homestand and trailed at the end of their past 34 innings.
Connections: Rangers RHP Matt Garza was a Ray from 2008-10 and was '08 ALCS MVP, coaches Dave Anderson (Gibbs High) and Dave Magadan (Jesuit) are Tampa Bay area products. … Rays RHP Jamey Wright was a Ranger 2007-08, RHP Josh Lueke a 2007 draftee.
Series history: Rangers lead 2-1 this season, 79-63 overall, 6-3 in postseason; Rays lead 36-31 at Trop (though 0-5 in postseason).
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer