MLB

Gee faces former team as Rangers host Mets

Dillon Gee wasn't sure if and when he'd get a chance to start for the Texas Rangers. That it comes against his old team, the New York Mets, might be seen as fate to some.

Not to Gee.

"It's just a coincidence," Gee said about Tuesday night's start at Globe Life Park. "I just look at it as any other start. I just have to go out there and give the team a chance to win."

Gee grew up a fan of the Rangers in nearby Cleburne, Texas, so the start in the two-game interleague series opener will be well attended by family and friends. Gee hopes they get to see him on the mound every five days.

"It's a good opportunity," he said. "I look at it as a chance to get a spot in the rotation. What happens after that, who knows."

Texas' rotation has taken a beating lately, as the club has lost four in a row and 11 of the last 14. The Rangers (26-31) were swept by Houston over the weekend and are 1-5 on their current homestand.

Catching the Astros -- Texas ended the three-game series 15 games back of the American League West leaders -- seems out of the question at this point, but the Rangers were in wild card position before the recent slump.

They believe another run remains possible. Texas did rebound from poor starts the last two years to get into the playoffs.

"A couple guys still aren't here yet like (Carlos) Gomez, (Cole) Hamels," Shin-Soo Choo said. "We have a lot of hurt players in the lineup and in the pitching, so we're still missing good players. Nobody thinks negative things. We're still positive."

Gee gave the Rangers four strong innings out of the bullpen Friday before being informed early Sunday that he would start against the Mets. Gee played six seasons for the Mets before pitching for Kansas City last year.

He's good friends with New York scheduled starter Jacob deGrom, who is 4-2 with a 3.97 ERA and is tied for second in the National League with 92 strikeouts. It'll be the first career start against Texas for deGrom.

"I'm trying to not put so much emphasis on who it's against," Gee said. "It's just another start that I have to prepare for."

The Mets (24-31) have lost four of five going into consecutive series in warm-weather cities. After the Rangers, New York is at Atlanta.

"We're going to places where we certainly think we can do some damage," New York manager Terry Collins said. "Got to face Yu Darvish (on Wednesday), which is going to be a challenge, but our guys, when we go in those kind of parks, they perk up. And warm weather certainly helps.

"So we're hoping that we continue the offense going, swinging the way they've been swinging. And the addition to our pitching staff, we start to feel like we're getting stronger. We'll just have to wait and see what happens."

The Rangers and Mets are meeting for the first time since 2014, when New York took two of three at Citi Field. Texas has never recorded a series victory against the Mets, trailing 4-8 in the all-time series.

The Rangers are 6-1 against the National League this season, winning the last six games. The Mets are 10-12 on the road.