Texas Rangers: Mike Leake

Matchup: Nick Tepesch vs. Mike Leake

June, 29, 2013
6/29/13
12:30
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers try for their second straight victory over Cincinnati when rookie right-hander Nick Tepesch faces Reds right-hander Mike Leake at 6:15 p.m. on FOX and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.

Tepesch (3-6, 4.60): Tepesch ended a rough three-start stretch by matching St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright pitch for pitch in the Rangers' 2-1 victory on Sunday night ... Tepesch didn't get a decision, allowing a run in 5 2/3 innings ... He had five shutout innings before allowing a leadoff home run to Matt Carpenter to start the sixth inning ... Tepesch has dominated right-handed hitters, limiting them to a .198 batting average, the sixth lowest mark in the American League ... He is winless in seven starts, matching Yu Darvish's current stretch and the longest this season by a Rangers' starter ... The Rangers are 6-8 in Tepesch's starts ... He has received one or zero runs of support in five of his last seven outings ... Tepesch is 0-1 with a 5.59 ERA in two interleague starts this season.

Leake (7-3, 2.61): The 25-year old right-hander and former first-round draft pick out of Arizona State is having the best season of his young career ... Leake is 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA in nine starts against AL teams ... Leake is on an awesome run of late, going 5-1 with 1.31 ERA that began on May 15 ... He had a 16 2/3 inning scoreless streak from May 15 to May 27 ... Leake retired the first 17 batters he faced in Saturday's start at Arizona befofe allowing a double to pitcher to Diamondbacks pitcher Patrick Corbin and a two-run home run by Gerardo Parra ... Leake has walked two or less batters in his last 10 starts ... He has never faced the Rangers.

Hitters: Tepesch has never faced the Reds. Lance Berkman and Geovany Soto are the only Rangers who have faced Leake. They are a combined 2-for-23 with a triple.

W2W4: Rangers-Reds

June, 28, 2013
6/28/13
8:00
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The schedule doesn't let up as the Rangers return home to start a nine-game homestand Friday night.

First up, the pitching-rich Cincinnati Reds, who will test the Rangers with three talented starters -- Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Mat Latos.

Here's what to watch for:

PODCAST
ESPN senior MLB analyst and former GM Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly segment to discuss the latest Rangers news.

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Another winning opponent: The Reds would be leading three of baseball's divisions if they weren't in the National League Central. They enter Friday with a 45-34 record and trail Pittsburgh and St. Louis by 3 1/2 games. Only five teams in baseball have a better record than the Reds, who are 4-6 in their last 10 games. Cincinnati is 19-20 on the road this season.

Strong starters: Cueto, Leake and Latos have a combined record of 18-5 with a 2.91 ERA. Yes, the Rangers have a difficult test in front of them. The Reds as a team have a 3.52 ERA, fifth best in the majors. The Rangers' 3.67 team ERA is seventh best. Cueto (4-1, 3.21), who starts Friday against Martin Perez, comes off of his worst start of the season, allowing seven runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings at Arizona. Leake (7-1, 2.61) and Latos (7-1, 3.05) have both been on terrific roles.

Bruce is producing: Reds right fielder Jay Bruce, who hails from Beaumont, Texas, is in position to have one of the best seasons in Reds franchise history. He is on pace to produce 50 doubles, 37 home runs and 114 RBIs. Only 17 players in major league history have produced seasons of at least 50 doubles, 35 homers and 100 RBIs, including the Red's Frank Robinson in 1962. Bruce is tied for 10th in the majors with 18 home runs. He is fourth in doubles with 24. And he's tied for 11th with 55 RBIs.

Cruz hot, too: The Rangers' Nelson Cruz is right there with Bruce, making this a marquee matchup of right fielders. Cruz is tied for sixth in baseball with 20 home runs and is ninth in RBIs with 57. Cruz and Bruce both have a .525 slugging percentage, which puts them in the top 20 in the big leagues.

Baker still winning: Reds manager Dusty Baker enters Friday's game as the 16th winningest manager in major league history. Baker has won 1,626 games, second-most among active managers (Detroit's Jim Leyland has 1,718 wins, ranking 15th all-time). Nine of the 14 winningest managers are in baseball's Hall of Fame. Baker's teams have won five division titles in his 20 years as a skipper. He is one of six managers to win division titles with three different teams.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.325 17 68 68
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 17
RBIA. Beltre 68
RA. Beltre 68
OPSA. Beltre .878
WY. Darvish 10
ERAY. Darvish 3.06
SOY. Darvish 182