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Up next for Tampa Bay Rays: at Texas Rangers

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at Rangers

Tonight-Sunday

What's new: The Rangers have found their way to the top of the weak AL West, but the Rays may be catching them at a prime time, as they have lost seven of 10 after Thursday's 4-3 loss to Chicago. OF Nelson Cruz and LHP Derek Holland just went on the disabled list, slugging DH Vladimir Guerrero (revitalized since leaving the Angels) has a swollen left eye after being hit in batting practice Wednesday, and the pitching looked to be wearing down. Rookie 1B Justin Smoak has been hit and miss; closer Neftali Feliz can be overpowering.

Key stat: Rays starters went 0-5 with a 9.32 ERA in Texas last season, allowing 29 earned runs in 28 innings.

Connections: Rangers OF Josh Hamilton, above, is a former Rays No. 1 draft pick, RHP Chris Ray a Hillsborough High product, 3B coach Dave Anderson a former Gibbs High star. Rays RHP Joaquin Benoit, INF Hank Blalock, OF Gabe Kapler and 1B Carlos Peña are former Rangers, as is bench coach Dave Martinez. Senior advisor Don Zimmer managed in Texas.

Series history: Rangers lead 66-49 overall, 39-21 in Arlington (including 5-1 last season).

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Up next for Tampa Bay Rays: at Texas Rangers 06/03/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 4, 2010 8:30am]

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