Rangers-Mariners Preview

Texas' inability to contain a sizzling Nelson Cruz led to another loss to the Seattle Mariners, but the Rangers could soon get some help in the next matchup from a familiar face.

After being re-acquired from Boston, Mike Napoli is hoping to arrive in time for Saturday's game in Seattle and the Rangers' attempt at an eighth win in 10 games.

Cruz hit one of Seattle's three home runs off Cole Hamels in a 4-3 victory Friday and Texas' sixth consecutive loss to the Mariners (51-59). Cruz tied the game in the sixth with his 32nd, one fewer than major league leader Mike Trout, and extended his MLB-best hit streak to 17 games.

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"You want to get it done, especially when you're (trailing) and you're tired," Cruz said. "To be able to do it when it matters is definitely good."

Cruz is batting .421 with 11 homers during his run and has gone deep in six of the last seven games. He's 14 for 30 (.467) with four homers in the seven games against Texas this season.

Before having a four-game win streak snapped, the Rangers (54-54) picked up Napoli from Boston for a player to be named and cash. Napoli's averages dipped in each of his three seasons with the Red Sox - down to .207 this year - but he was batting .281 in his past 17 games.

His 13 homers and 40 RBIs were his fewest since 2007.

Before signing with Boston, Napoli played from 2011-12 in Texas and had his best season in that initial campaign, batting .320 with 30 homers. He had 24 home runs in 2012 but batted just .227.

Napoli was primarily a catcher in his first stint with the Rangers but is slated to serve as a first baseman or designated hitter this time. He's expected to start mainly against left-handed pitchers, and will see rookie southpaw Mike Montgomery (4-4, 3.07 ERA) if his expected morning flight from Boston arrives on time.

Napoli's .845 OPS against left-handers was second-best among Red Sox hitters who had played at least 42 games. Texas' .239 average versus lefties is 13th in the AL.

"He is a guy who always hits lefties. It's an area where we have struggled this year,'' general manager Jon Daniels said. "He is a guy we know. We know he's going to fit our culture. He has a winning makeup."

Montgomery will seek to end a five-game winless drought in his first appearance against the Rangers. He's allowed four runs over 12 2-3 innings in his last two games but has gotten a combined four runs of support.

He yielded one run in six innings last Saturday in Minnesota, but Carson Smith gave up two runs in the ninth in a 3-2 loss.

Montgomery will next try to lead Seattle to its first seven-game win streak against Texas since 1995 and its sixth victory in eight overall contests.

Martin Perez (1-2, 6.64) looks to build on his first win since returning from Tommy John surgery, a 2-1 victory over San Francisco on Sunday. The left-hander yielded one run and two hits in 8 1-3 innings after getting tagged for eight runs in one-plus inning in a 21-5 drubbing to the New York Yankees on July 28.

Perez is 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA in four starts against Seattle with his most recent Aug. 28, 2013. Cruz has never faced him, but Kyle Seager is 6 for 14 with two homers.