Published January 13, 2015
The Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks will celebrate Memorial Day with a split doubleheader at Chase Field.
After playing two games on Monday, the teams will enjoy an off day on Tuesday before heading to Texas for two straight games.
Both teams will turn to starters making their season debut in the first game, with Arizona's Tyler Skaggs going opposite Martin Perez of Texas. Both hurlers were in battles to win rotation spots during Spring Training before ultimately falling short.
Skaggs, ranked as Arizona's top prospect by MLB.com, will be recalled from Triple-A Reno as the club's 26th man for the doubleheader. Ian Kennedy was in line to start today, but a laceration on his right index finger suffered on Thursday while washing dishes at home will push his next outing back until Friday.
Skaggs, a 21-year-old lefty, made six starts a season ago in his first MLB action, going 1-3 with a 5.83 earned run average.
Perez also logged his first major league appearances in 2012, going 1-4 with a 5.45 ERA in 12 appearances. Six of those were starts for the 22-year-old southpaw, who joins the club this year from Triple-A Round Rock.
Talented right-hander Yu Darvish takes the hill for the Rangers in the second game as he looks to rebound from his first loss since April 12.
Darvish had a five-decision win streak snapped on Tuesday with a 1-0 loss to Oakland. He gave up the game's only run in the third inning as Yoenis Cespedes connected on a homer off the 26-year-old. Darvish lasted six innings in all, yielding five hits and three walks.
"He was okay. He wasn't, obviously, as sharp as he'd been," Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski said of Darvish. "He really only made one mistake and that was the ball that the guy hit for the home run."
Darvish only struck out five versus Oakland, but still leads the majors with 91 strikeouts to go along with his 7-2 record and 2.83 ERA in 10 starts this season. He faces Arizona for the first time.
Arizona's Trevor Cahill, Darvish's opponent tonight, has also put together a solid campaign, though he suffered a rough outing last time out.
The right-hander has a 2.81 ERA through 10 starts, but fell to 3-5 following a loss at Colorado on Wednesday. Cahill allowed a season-high seven hits over six innings and his four runs allowed matched the most he has allowed in an outing this season.
As a former member of the Athletics, the 25-year-old Cahill has made 15 career starts versus the Rangers, going 9-4 with a 2.78 ERA.
Arizona won the rubber match of its three-game series with San Diego on Sunday, getting a 4-for-4 game and an RBI from Martin Prado. Eric Chavez added a two-run homer and Patrick Corbin, who beat out Skaggs for a rotation spot, drove in a run while allowing a season-high four runs (3 earned) over six innings.
"He kept his composure," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said of Corbin's performance.
The Rangers had a three-game winning streak halted on Sunday with a 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners in 13 innings.
Pierzynski drove in a run with a pinch-hit single in the 11th inning, but Joe Nathan blew his first save in 17 chances this season by giving up a game-tying homer to Raul Ibanez.
Seattle's Jason Bay then drove in the winning run in the 13th inning off Ross Wolf.
"Anytime you lose -- especially when you go to extra innings -- it's difficult but they took it from us," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
The Rangers are 17-8 all-time versus the Diamondbacks, their second-highest winning percentage against an NL opponent and took two of three when the clubs met in Texas a season ago.
The Rangers have won eight of the last 10 meetings overall, also taking two of three in their last trip to Arizona in 2009.