The Rangers try to avoid a three-game sweep when right-hander Nick Tepesch faces Los Angeles Angels left-hander Jason Vargas at 2:35 p.m. Sunday afternoon on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.
Tepesch (4-6, 4.67 ERA): Tepesch starts for the first since since July 6 after missing two months with right elbow inflammation ... He made his first career relief appearance in Monday's 4-2 loss at Oakland, allowing a hit and no runs in 3 1/3 innings while throwing only 28 pitches ... Tepesch hasn't thrown more than 60 pitches since starting a rehab assignment, so the Rangers could try to keep him around 75 pitches ... That's probably best for Tepesch, who has allowed a .456 opponents' batting average after his 45th pitch this season ... Tepesch went eight starts without a win before beating Houston on July 5, setting a career high with nine strikeouts while allowing four runs in five innings in his last outing before going on the DL ... He is 2-3 with a 4.09 ERA on the road.
Vargas (8-6, 3.80 ERA): Vargas is 3-2 with a 4.33 ERA in five starts since coming off the DL after missing two months with a blood clot in his left arm ... Vargas allowed 10 hits and five runs in just four innings in his last start against Tampa Bay on Tuesday ... He had seven scoreless innings in his start before that, also against the Rays ... Opponents are batting .276 against Vargas ... He had two no-decisions in starts against the Rangers in April despite a 2.84 ERA in 12 2/3 innings.
Hitters: Tepesch has never faced the Angels. Ian Kinsler is 12-for-38 with a home run and three RBIs against Vargas. The Rangers could sure use suspended Nelson Cruz on Sunday. He has four home runs and eight RBIs in his career against Vargas.