. Up next
What's new: The Rangers will wrap up a 10-game road trip against the Rays, whom they took two of three from in Texas last week. They are still leading the AL West, trying to hold off the surging A's. Texas boasts the highest scoring offense in the majors, led by OF Josh Hamilton, the league leader in homers and RBIs, who entered Thursday with 10 homers in his past 14 games. The Rangers are missing injured C Mike Napoli (strained left quad), but they recently called up infield prospect Jurickson Profar.
Key stat: The Rangers are 73-1 when leading after eight innings this season, including 35-0 on the road, going into Thursday's play.
Connections: Hamilton is a former Rays top prospect, 3B coach Dave Anderson is a Gibbs High product. Rays 1B Carlos Peña was Texas' first-round pick in 1998.
Series history: The teams have split the first six games this season. The Rangers lead 76-69 overall, but the Rays are 34-30 at Tropicana Field.
Joe Smith, Times staff writer