Rangers go for back-to-back wins in Toronto

(SportsNetwork.com) - In the second game of a three-game set following the All-Star break, the Texas Rangers will battle the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre Saturday.

Texas will send Colby Lewis out to the mound to try and solve a potentially potent Blue Jays lineup, while the home squad will counter with Marcus Stroman on the mound.

Lewis has battled to a 6-6 record this season, but hasn't been able to keep his earned run average down as he enters the fray with a 6.54 mark in the category.

His most recent start came against the Angels back on July 10, in which he only lasted 2 1/3 innings on the hill after surrendering a whopping 13 runs (11 earned) on 13 hits. He undoubtedly picked up the loss in the eventual 15-6 Angels victory.

"I felt like it was one of those days. They hit it," Lewis said. "They found the gap and I got beat. Plain and simple."

His career against the Blue Jays doesn't leave much room for hope, either. Lewis has taken on Toronto nine times with eight career starts, and owns a 3-4 record with a 7.34 ERA. The Jays have put up 34 runs on Lewis in his 41 2/3 career innings.

Stroman has pitched in 13 games this season, and has made only eight starts. Still, he sports a 4-2 record with a 4.05 ERA with 47 strikeouts to just 13 walks.

The 23-year-old righty hasn't picked up a decision since June 23 - a victory against the Yankees. He's made three appearances since then, his most recent being a short outing against the Angels on July 9. He lasted 3 2/3 innings and gave up five earned runs on eight hits in an 8-7 loss.

At home this season, Stroman has pitched much better. He's accumulated a 3-1 record at Rogers Centre with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. And 33 of his 47 strikeouts have been on his home turf.

Yu Darvish was on the mound Friday night for the Rangers, who jumped ahead 2-0 in the fifth inning and then 5-0 following a J.P. Arencibia three-run homer in the seventh.

Darvish went 6 2/3 inning Friday night and allowed just one run and five hits while racking up 12 strikeouts against the Jays. He picked up the win - his ninth of the season.

"It was a solid game all the way around," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We made all the plays. That's the way we have to continue to play."

Colby Rasmus provided the only run for the Blue Jays with a solo homer in the bottom half of the seventh inning. R.A. Dickey got the start for Toronto and gave up five runs in seven innings pitched. He was tagged with the loss - his 10th on the year.

Jose Bautista, who entered the game Friday as the American League leader in on-base percentage, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in the loss.

The Blue Jays have dropped three games in a row going back before the All-Star break, while Texas ended an eight-game skid that preceded the Midsummer classic. It was the Rangers' second win since June 29 (16 games).

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