ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Jake Faria hasn't won since July 25, but another outing like his last could halt that run of tough luck Wednesday when the Tampa Bay Rays close out a three-game series with the Texas Rangers.
Faria's last start saw him limit the Phillies to two hits -- the lowest in his 17 career starts -- and he left with a 1-0 lead in what ended up a 2-1 Rays loss. He hopes the confidence from that can spill over to Wednesday against the Rangers.
"I think it's just not worrying about what the hitters are going to do, just worrying about what I need to do, just having fun on the field again," Faria said Tuesday. "It's been a while since I'd say that. It was fun to be out there, and I worried about what I can control."
Faria has gone 0-4 with a 5.80 ERA in his last 10 appearances, this after opening his rookie year with a sterling 5-1 record and 2.67 ERA. As hard as wins have been to come by, he has given up more than three runs only three times in his 17 career starts.
This will be his first career start against the Rangers, and he'll face a Texas team that has won three of four games, including a 7-2 victory against the Rays on Tuesday night. Texas (7-12) counters with a third straight left-hander in Cole Hamels, who is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA this season.
No pitcher in baseball has allowed more home runs than the seven Hamels has allowed in his 22 innings, including three to lead off games. It'll help him if he can get the run support that Matt Moore got Tuesday -- Shin-Soo Choo and Isiah Kiner-Falefa were table setters, with Choo scoring four runs and Kiner-Falefa getting four hits to spark the Rangers lineup.
"Any time your 1-2 can do that, you're going to score some runs," manager Jeff Banister said. "It was one of our better offensive nights. The table got set very well tonight with Choo and Kiner."
Kiner-Falefa, a rookie shortstop, had two hits in his first 17 major league at-bats prior to Tuesday.
Hamels has a history with the Rays -- he won at Tropicana Field in the 2008 World Series, when the Phillies beat Tampa Bay. In the regular season, he's just 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA against the Rays (4-13), allowing one run in 14 innings in his last two starts.
Tampa Bay's lineup continues to be depleted by injuries -- with Brad Miller and Kevin Kiermaier already on the disabled list, the Rays lost third baseman Matt Duffy to the 10-day disabled list Tuesday, thanks to a hamstring injury. They have scored two or fewer runs eight times in their 17 games, and are 0-8 in those contests.
Texas and Tampa Bay get a day off Thursday. The Rays stay home to face the Twins in a weekend series, while Texas goes home to face the Mariners to open a six-game homestand.