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Feldman Set To Return From DL As Rangers Look To Stop Skid

(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers try to avoid a fifth straight loss this evening when they continue their four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

The Blue Jays drew first blood in this series on Monday, as Vernon Wells hit a three-run homer and Aaron Hill clubbed a two-run shot, lifting Toronto to a 7-2 win. Yunel Escobar added a solo shot for the Blue Jays, who have won two in a row.

Ricky Romero (12-8) threw seven solid innings, allowing one run on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in earning the victory.

Michael Young had an RBI double among three hits and David Murphy chipped in with a run-scoring single for Texas, which has dropped seven of nine, but still leads the division by seven games ahead of Oakland.

The Rangers continue to play without the AL's best hitter in Josh Hamilton, who has missed the last two games with a rib cage injury. Hamilton, who leads the majors with a .361 batting average, could miss this whole series.

Tommy Hunter (12-3), a winner of three straight starts coming in, was roughed up for seven runs on as many hits, walked a pair and struck out four over seven innings. Left-hander Cliff Lee was originally scheduled to get the start, but was pushed back until Tuesday, then scratched again because of his ailing back.

So with Lee on the bench, it will be Scott Feldman, who was 6-9 with a 5.43 earned run average. A 17-game winner last season, Feldman has struggled this season and has been relegated to the bullpen.

Feldman lost to the Jays the last time he faced them and is 0-3 in eight games (five starts) against them with a 5.94 ERA.

Opposing him will be right-hander Shaun Marcum, who is 11-7 with a 3.53 ERA. Marcum has not received a decision in his last two starts, but has pitched well, allowing a run in each outing. He gave up a run and five hits in six innings on Wednesday against Tampa Bay in a 2-1 loss.

Marcum is 1-0 with a 5.33 ERA in seven games, four of which have been starts.

The Blue Jays have won six of their seven matchups with the Rangers this season.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.