Texas Rangers: Carlos Villanueva

Rapid Reaction: Cubs 6, Rangers 2

April, 18, 2013
4/18/13
4:04
PM CT


CHICAGO -- The Texas Rangers (9-6) fell 6-2 to the Chicago Cubs (5-9) to split what ended up being a two-game series after Wednesday's rainout. The Cubs got to Alexi Ogando early, with Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano delivering back-to-back home runs in a four-run third inning. Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva was strong for his third consecutive start, holding the Rangers to only two runs. Yu Darvish is scheduled to get the start Friday for the Rangers when they return home to open up a three-game set with the Seattle Mariners.

Inefficient Ogando: Ogando has struggled with high pitch counts early on in the season and Thursday was no exception. Ogando was able to work through his issues with minimal issues in his previous outings, but he couldn't find the same magic against the Cubs. He walked Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro in his first two plate on eight straight pitches. Castro came into the game with no walks in 58 plate appearances. The real damage was done on back-to back-home runs by Rizzo and Soriano in a four-run third. Ogando gave up multiple runs in an outing for the first time this season.

Bats struggle: Entering the day, the Rangers were 12th in the AL in runs scored, and they did little to improve their standing. Outside of a combined 4-for-7 from Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler (each had a single and a solo home run), the offense went a 0-for-21 with a walk against Cubs pitching.

Up next: The Rangers head back to Arlington for a three-game home stand against the Seattle Mariners. Yu Darvish heads to the mound on six days rest to face Joe Saunders at 7:05 p.m. Friday night on TXA-21 and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.

Lineups: Rangers and Cubs try it again

April, 18, 2013
4/18/13
12:40
PM CT
Alexi Ogando will get the start as the Texas Rangers try again to get in a game against Carlos Villanueva and the Chicago Cubs. Rain could impact Thursday's contest, but the clubs plan to do everything they can to get it in. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. on FSSW and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. Here are the lineups:

RANGERS
Ian Kinsler 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Adrian Beltre 3B
Nelson Cruz RF
A.J. Pierzynski C
David Murphy LF
Mitch Moreland 1B
Leonys Martin CF
Alexi Ogando P

CUBS
David DeJesus CF
Starlin Castro SS
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Nate Schierholtz RF
Welington Castillo C
Luis Valbuena 3B
Darwin Barney 2B
Carlos Villanueva P

Matchup: Alexi Ogando vs. Carlos Villanueva

April, 18, 2013
4/18/13
10:30
AM CT
CHICAGO -- Manager Ron Washington decided to skip Justin Grimm and stick with Alexi Ogando as his starter for Thursday's game against Carlos Villanueva and the Chicago Cubs. Yu Darvish is scheduled to pitch Friday, followed by Nick Tepesch, Grimm and then Derek Holland for the series opener against the Angels. Rain could impact Thursday's game, but the clubs will try to do everything to get it in. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. on FSSW and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.

Ogando (2-0, 1.08): Ogando has been solid in his return to the rotation, allowing only two earned runs in 16 2/3 innings pitched with 17 strikeouts and five walks. … Despite his impressive start, Ogando has only pitched six full innings in one of his three starts. … This will be Ogando’s first appearance against the Cubs. … Ogando has performed well in his 27 interleague innings, posting a 2.33 ERA with 23 strikeouts and 10 walks. … Ogando has three hits (all singles) and two strikeouts in five career plate appearances.

Villanueva (0-0, 0.64): Villanueva has been impressive in his two starts with the Cubs, allowing only one earned run in 14 innings. … The lone run recorded off Villanueva this season came via a solo home run from Braves center fielder B.J. Upton. … Villanueva was in line for the victory in both games he pitched this season, only to see a leaky Cubs bullpen blow the lead. … Villanueva had 4.16 ERA while striking out 122 and walking 46 in 125 1/3 innings (38 appearances, 16 starts) with the Blue Jays last season. … Villanueva struggled with a 4.50 ERA as a starter last season, but impressed with a 22.9 percent strikeout rate while walking only 6.7 percent of the batters he faced. … Villanueva has a 3.69 ERA in 85 1/3 interleague innings and is 1-1 with a 3.16 ERA in 25 2/3 innings against the Rangers.

Hitters: Nelson Cruz (3-for-10, 1 HR, 1 2B), Adrian Beltre (3-for-6, 1 2B) and Jeff Baker (3-for-5) have had success against Villanueva. Ogando has only faced two current Cubs, Nate Schierholtz (0-for-1) and David DeJesus (1-for-2).

Matchup: Justin Grimm vs. Carlos Villanueva

April, 17, 2013
4/17/13
1:30
PM CT
Justin Grimm gets his second start of the season as the Texas Rangers take on Carlos Villanueva and the Chicago Cubs in the second game of a three-game set at Wrigley Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on FSSW and KSKY 660 AM.

Grimm (0-0, 4.50): Grimm lasted just four innings in his only start of the season. He threw 92 pitches, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out two against Mariners. … This will be Grimm’s first appearance against the Cubs. … Grimm has made one interleague start in his young career, going six solid innings against the Astros, allowing three runs while striking out seven and walking none in his major league debut. … Grimm has yet to record a plate appearance in his career.

Villanueva (0-0, 0.64): Villanueva has been impressive in his two starts with the Cubs, allowing only one earned run in 14 innings pitched. … The lone run recorded off Villanueva this season came via a solo home run from Braves center fielder B.J. Upton. … Villanueva was in line for the victory in both games he pitched this season, only to see a leaky Cubs bullpen blow the lead. … Villanueva had 4.50 ERA while striking out 122 and walking 46 in 125 1/3 innings (38 appearances, 16 starts) with the Blue Jays last season. … Villanueva struggled with a 4.50 ERA as a starter last season, but impressed with a 22.9 percent strikeout rate while walking only 6.7 percent of the batters he faced. … Villanueva has a 3.69 ERA in 85 1/3 interleague innings and a 3.16 ERA in 25 2/3 innings against the Rangers.

Hitters: Nelson Cruz (3-for-10, 1 HR, 1 2B), Adrian Beltre (3-for-6, 1 2B) and Jeff Baker (3-for-5) have had success against Villanueva. Grimm has not faced a player currently on the Cubs roster.

Week ahead: Cubs, Mariners

April, 15, 2013
4/15/13
9:40
AM CT
The Rangers are off Monday, then must prepare for what looks like a chilly, rainy three-game series Tuesday-Thursday in the Windy City against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Then it's back home for a brief three-game homestand as the Rangers get an early season rematch Friday-Sunday with the Seattle Mariners.

Here are some things to watch for:

Chicago weather: The forecast on weather.com calls for 52-degree highs with a north wind and a chance of rain for Tuesday and Wednesday. The best chance for rain is Wednesday, with a 70 percent probability. Thursday afternoon's game (1:20 p.m.) should be better with a high of 67 degrees, but there's still a 40 percent chance of rain. It could be a long three days in Chicago.

Cubs' pitching: The Rangers will face three hot Cubs pitchers. Scheduled starters Travis Wood, Carlos Villanueva and Jeff Samardzija are off to a torrid start with a 1.76 combined ERA. They've allowed 30 hits in 46 innings and are averaging a strikeout per inning. They've had tough luck with a combined 2-2 record.

Even with Mariners: The Rangers and Mariners just completed a four-games series in which both teams scored 11 runs. The teams split the series at Safeco Field with each team winning by scores of 4-3 and 3-1. The Rangers had a chance to win three out of four but couldn't rally from a 4-3 deficit in the late innings Sunday despite multiple scoring opportunities and several bench options that manager Ron Washington elected not to use.

No King Felix: The Rangers won't see Seattle starter Felix Hernandez this time around. King Felix will start Wednesday against Detroit. The Rangers beat Hernandez 4-3 on Thursday, preventing the Mariners ace from notching his 100th career victory.

Rapid Reaction: Blue Jays 3, Rangers 2

August, 17, 2012
8/17/12
9:01
PM CT
Yu Darvish allowed three runs and struck out 10 over seven innings, but J.A. Happ and five relievers combined to hold the Texas Rangers to four hits in the Toronto Blue Jays' 3-2 win in the series opener.

Record must wait: Darvish remains tied for most wins by a Rangers rookie (12) with Chris Young (2005), Kevin Brown (1989) and Edwin Correa (1986). Darvish reached double digits in strikeouts for the seventh time this season. That ties the Rangers rookie record held by Jim Bibby (1973).

The long ball: Edwin Encarnacion's first-inning two-run home run was his second of the season off Darvish.

It Happ-ened: Former Houston Astros lefty J.A. Happ was perfect through three innings and tied a Blue Jays record with six straight strikeouts (Ted Lilly in 2004, Marc Rzepczynski in 2010). Happ’s perfect game ended with a leadoff walk in the fourth inning. His no-hitter concluded when Michael Young led off the fifth with a single. Happ pitched six innings and allowed just one run on two hits while striking out eight.

Lefty vs. lefty: Left-handed hitting David Murphy entered Friday with a .386 batting average (17-for-44) against left-handed pitchers. He singled off Happ after Young's base hit in the fifth and finished 2-for-4.

Gentry starts: Murphy’s effective bat against lefties has kept right-handed hitting Craig Gentry on the bench lately, but he’s been in the starting lineup in two straight games. On Friday night, he drove in Young in the fifth inning with a ground out. Gentry has four RBIs in the last two games and 26 on the season.

More Gentry: With two outs in the fifth and the bases empty, Gentry attempted to make a diving catch in right-center field on Anthony Gose's flare. The ball bounced off the turf and ricocheted off Gentry’s glove for a Gose triple. Rangers killer Rajai Davis knocked in Gose with a single to give the Blue Jays a 3-1 lead.

Hamstrung: Nelson Cruz has a sore right hamstring and was not in the starting lineup. But he pinch-hit for Gentry in the seventh inning with two on and two out. Cruz walked to load the bases.

Gold Glove?: Former Ranger and 11-time Gold Glove infielder Omar Vizquel mishandled a Mike Olt ground ball in the seventh inning that allowed a run to and cut the Blue Jays' lead to 3-2.

Slumping Kinsler: With the bases loaded in the seventh inning, Ian Kinsler swung at the first pitch from Brandon Lyon and hit into an inning-ending fielder’s choice grounder. Kinsler is hitless in his last 16 at-bats.

Dempster on restricted list: Ryan Dempster was scheduled to start the second game of this three-game series, but he was placed on the restricted list for personal reasons. He is expected to rejoin the club Monday in Texas. Manager Ron Washington said on Rangers Baseball Tonight (the radio network pregame show) that the club learned about the situation last night, and that’s when they told Roy Oswalt that he would start in lieu of Dempster. OF Leonys Martin was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to take Dempster’s roster spot.

Up next: The Rangers and Blue Jays have a 12:07 pm first pitch Saturday for the second game of this three-game series. RHP Roy Oswalt (4-2, 6.53) and RHP Carlos Villanueva (6-3, 3.12) are the starting pitchers. Hear it on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and ESPN Deportes 1540 AM. It’s also on FOX Sports Southwest.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The second game of this three-game series features LHP Matt Harrison against RHP Carlos Villanueva. The game starts at 7:05 p.m. on FSSW and 103.3 FM ESPN. Here's a quick look:

Harrison (8-7, 2.91 ERA): The 25-year-old lefty has settled in and has put up impressive numbers in his last 10 starts. He's sporting a 1.94 ERA over that span and the club has gone 7-3. ... Harrison has quality starts in eight of those outings, as well, and has pitched at least seven innings four times. ... Harrison has the same number of starts (nine) at home as on the road and his home ERA is a half-run higher. ... Righties are having a tougher time against him than lefties (.232 average as opposed to .287 for lefties). ... Harrison's lone start this season against the Blue Jays came April 26. He lasted just three innings and allowed seven runs on eight hits to take the loss. That inflated his career ERA vs. Toronto to 13.50.

Villanueva (5-2, 3.31 ERA): The 27-year-old is making his 11th start of the season and is coming off a loss to the Yankees on July 17, where he allowed five runs on eight hits in six innings. ... Villanueva is still looking for his first win of July after a couple of no-decisions earlier this month despite quality starts. He gave up no runs in six innings at Cleveland, but the Blue Jays lost 5-4. ... Villanueva has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts. ... He has not started against the Rangers but is 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA in four relief appearances against them. He gave up no runs in 3 1/3 innings of long relief on April 27, a 7-6 Blue Jays loss in Arlington.

Hitters: The Rangers are 5-for-25 off Villanueva. Only Yorvit Torrealba (2-for-9, HR, 2B, three RBIs) has more than three at-bats against Villanueva. ... Current Blue Jays have an 11-for-32 (.344) career mark off Harrison. ... Jose Bautista is 2-for-4 with a double and Adam Lind is 2-for-5 with a homer. ... Rajai Davis is just 1-for-7 with three strikeouts in his career against Harrison.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.92 159 126
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .322
HRA. Beltre 14
RBIA. Beltre 53
RA. Beltre 52
OPSA. Beltre .880
ERAY. Darvish 2.92
SOY. Darvish 159