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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 26: Nick Tepesch #23 of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the third inning of the game on May 26, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Rangers defeated the Twins 7-2. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Nick Tepesch takes the hill on Wednesday to close out a three-game set against the first-place A's in Oakland. If this was last week, you'd feel awful about the prospects for the Texas Rangers with him on the mound.
And while you still might not feel great about it, there's some hope for Tepesch after his previous outing in the Rangers' win last Friday in Seattle, when the young righty tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings in awfully efficient manner en route to another shutout win for the Rangers, as he outdueled Felix Hernandez.
On Wednesday in Oakland, he won't be facing a pitcher of King Felix's caliber, but young lefty Sonny Gray is pretty darn good himself.
The Rangers need Tepesch to work down in the zone like he did in Seattle and utilize his hard sinker. Tepesch was especially effective against left-handed batters in Seattle, as they went 0-for-14 against him thanks to that hard sinker down in the zone.
A win for Tepesch would be huge for his confidence, and for the team as it would give them a second straight road series win against a division foe in front of them in the standings.