MLB

Rangers-Blue Jays Preview

Chi Chi Gonzalez's promising major league debut was one of many effective efforts for the Texas Rangers' rotation in a three-week span.

Gonzalez's first troublesome performance this past week was also the first of some difficult outings for Rangers starters, which they are hoping have come to an end.

Gonzalez will try to follow Yovani Gallardo's sterling effort against the Toronto Blue Jays in Sunday's series finale at Rogers Centre.

Gonzalez (2-2, 2.27 ERA) earned an 8-0 win over Boston in his debut May 30 while pitching 5 2-3 innings. He went 2-1 with a 0.90 ERA in his first four starts, and thanks in part to his efforts, Texas' rotation had a major league-best 2.15 ERA in 23 games from May 28-June 21.

That ended when the right-hander gave up six runs in 5 2-3 innings in an 8-6 loss to Oakland on Tuesday.

"Don't repeat that," Gonzalez told MLB's official website about his solution for his next start and his first against Toronto. "Just look at my success and not reflect on the negative as much."

Rangers starters gave up a combined 20 runs in 16 innings in the next three games while extending the team's losing streak to a season-high six. Texas (38-37) snapped that with a 4-0 victory Saturday as Gallardo yielded three singles and two walks in 8 1-3 innings.

"It was a great win for us, period," Gallardo said. "Obviously the last week we haven't played the way we wanted to."

The Blue Jays (40-36) had 13 hits - including four home runs - in a 12-2 rout in Friday's series opener, their 17th win in 23 games.

Drew Hutchison (7-1, 5.33) will try to deliver another victory while winning his fifth consecutive decision. He gave up three runs in five innings on Monday in Tampa Bay and got plenty of assistance as usual in an 8-5 victory.

The Blue Jays' 8.27 run support average for Hutchison is one of the best in the majors among qualifying players. They've won in each of his last four starts, including a 13-10 victory in Boston in which he gave up eight runs in 2 1-3 innings.

"Probably did a good job of grinding and giving our offense a chance," Hutchison said Monday. "As they've been all year, they were huge."

The righty is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against Texas and tossed a three-hitter - the first of his two career shutouts - in his lone matchup last year, a 2-0 victory May 16. He registered his other shutout May 25 against the visiting Chicago White Sox to start his current winning streak.

Hutchison is 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA in his last three home starts and 9-1 with a 1.95 ERA in his past 12 there.

Gonzalez has allowed one run in 16 innings in his first two road starts.

Prince Fielder singled in his first two at-bats Saturday for his fourth straight two-hit game. He leads the majors with 32 multihit games.

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