The Texas Rangers had a six-game streak of quality starts from their starting pitchers and a three-game winning streak heading into Thursday night's game in Tampa Bay.
Nick Martinez snapped the former streak, but the Rangers extended the latter with a 5-4 win over the Rays. On Friday night, the Rangers will take on the Rays again, and Yovani Gallardo will be looking to start a new quality start streak and push the team's win streak to five games.
Gallardo has turned in two straight quality starts of his own, but both resulted in Rangers losses after the bullpen let things get away and the offense failed to show up — something it has had no problem with over the course of this four-game win streak. In fact, the Rangers' last loss was Gallardo's last start, on Sunday at home against Oakland.
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Gallardo's last start was the first time, other than his season debut, that he has labored and thrown way too many pitches, as he needed nearly 120 pitches to get through 6 2/3 innings in the 7-1 loss to Oakland. Against a light-hitting Rays team, especially if Evan Longoria is still out of the lineup with flu-like symptoms, Gallardo could be in for a nice bounce-back start.