When Texas returns to San Francisco on Friday, it will try to break a seven-game losing streak against the Giants, the club's longest active losing streak against any opponent. The Giants are 15-7 all-time against the Rangers, who are 0-9 at AT&T Park. That mark does not including two losses there during the 2010 Fall Classic, a series San Francisco won in five games.
"The Giants played as good of baseball as I've seen a team play," said Rangers manager Ron Washington. "They pitched, they made plays and they got a lot of clutch hits. They were hot, and it showed against us. They played almost a perfect game against us."
Barry Zito will start for the Giants in Friday's series opener. Zito is enjoying a good season, posting a 5-2 record and a 2.98 ERA, his lowest since 2002, when he went 23-5 with a 2.75 ERA for the Athletics and won the American League Cy Young Award.
In his last start, Zito tossed 8 1/3 scoreless innings in a 2-0 win over the Cubs. He is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in his past two starts. Zito is 18-5 with a 3.72 ERA and 173 strikeouts against the Rangers, but he was left off of the Giants' roster in the 2010 World Series.
"We're a completely different team," David Murphy said. "The last time we played them was two years ago in the World Series. The last time we played them in the regular season was three years ago. That has no bearing on this group of guys, and how we're going to do this week."
Matt Harrison, who came into Thursday tied for the AL lead with seven wins this year, will take the mound for the Rangers. He will be making his first career appearance against the Giants. Last season, Harrison was 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA in four Interleague starts.
Harrison, who is 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA in his past three starts, boasts a 2.85 ERA in night starts this year, good for sixth best in the AL.
Rangers: Scheppers makes Rangers debut
Tanner Scheppers made his first appearance in the Major Leagues on Thursday, allowing one run and striking out two in 1 2/3 innings. Scheppers struck out the first batter he faced as a big leaguer, getting Josh Reddick to foul tip a 3-2 94 mph fastball into Mike Napoli's glove. He left two runners stranded in the sixth inning before giving up a two-out home run to Brandon Moss in the seventh.
Scheppers was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday after Derek Holland was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder fatigue. He was 1-2 with a 3.72 ERA and nine saves in Round Rock this year.
Napoli had a seven-game hit streak snapped on Thursday, as he went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in a 7-1 loss to the Athletics. During the streak, Napoli batted .474. He is hitting .387 with three home runs and 10 RBIs over his past 11 starts. Before Thursday, his .568 on-base percentage since May 27 led the Major Leagues, and his .429 batting average in that span was second best in the AL.
Giants: Pagan streaking again
Angel Pagan extended his hit streak to 16 games with a two-run home run in the seventh inning of the Giants' win over the Padres on Thursday. His streak is tied with the Indians' Michael Brantley for the longest active hitting streak in the Major Leagues.
Pagan, who has hit safely in 45 of his past 47 games, is the first player in team history with three hit streaks of at least 10 games in one season since Randy Winn did it in 2007.
With a 7-3 win over the Padres on Thursday, the Giants improved to 6-1 in their past seven rubber match games. San Francisco is a Major League-best 21-11 since May 5, and has won eight of its past 10 games. The Giants have won 10 out of 13 three-game series this year, and they have had 11 of their past 13 games decided by two runs or less.
Even after losing for the sixth time in eight games, the Rangers still have a 18-14 record on the road this year. Only the Braves have more road wins than the Rangers this year. They have hit three home runs in their past nine road games.
The Giants had six extra-base hits (three doubles and three home runs) from five different players in Thursday's win over the Padres. They lead the Major Leagues with 22 triples and are on pace to tie a team record with 62 triples.