The Texas Rangers are slugging their way toward the top of the American League wild-card race and will try to inch closer to one of the primary contenders when they continue a three-game series with the visiting New York Yankees on Saturday. Elvis Andrus went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to pace the Rangers’ 15-hit attack in Friday’s 11-5 rout of the Yankees.
Andrus is 11-for-23 with 10 RBIs and six runs scored during a five-game hitting streak for Texas, which remained within 2 1/2 games of Minnesota in the race for the second wild-card in the AL. New York blew an early 5-1 lead in Friday’s tilt and fell for the 13th time in its last 19 matchups with Texas. The Yankees’ lead in the wild-card race sits at 1 1/2 games over Minnesota while their deficit in the AL East is 4 1/2 games behind first-place Boston. Ace Luis Severino will try to slow down the Rangers’ offense when he toes the rubber opposite Andrew Cashner for Texas on Saturday.
TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, FOX
PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Luis Severino (12-6, 3.03 ERA) vs. Raners RH Andrew Cashner (9-9, 3.29)
Severino dominated Boston on Sunday, limiting the division rivals to one unearned run and two hits with nine strikeouts in six innings. It was the eighth time in 10 starts that the 23-year-old has allowed one earned run or fewer, and the fourth straight outing in which he fanned at least eight batters. Severino’s one career outing at Texas last April resulted in six runs allowed over three frames.
Cashner is aiming to become a 10-game winner for the first time since 2013 after defeating Atlanta on Monday. He held the Braves to two runs across six innings to improve to 5-1 in his last six decisions. The 30-year-old TCU product has a 2.08 ERA through two career starts against the Yankees but has had his issues with Todd Frazier (5-for-11, all doubles) and Didi Gregorius (4-for-13, one home run, two doubles).
1. New York’s upcoming series against Tampa Bay - which runs Monday through Wednesday - has been moved from Florida to Citi Field in New York due to Hurricane Irma.
2. Gregorius homered Friday and has six RBIs and six runs scored during a four-game hitting streak.
3. The Rangers have 45 home runs in their last 22 home games.
PREDICTION: Yankees 6, Rangers 4