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TB@OAK: Hellickson holds A's to one run over seven

Rangers right-hander Nick Tepesch will match up with the Rays' Jeremy Hellickson as the two teams meet for the second of four games at Globe Life Park in Arlington Tuesday night.

Texas will be looking to even the series, as Tampa Bay shut them out, 7-0, in Monday's opener behind a dominant performance from the recently-acquired Drew Smyly.

In Tepesch's last start, he threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings to beat the White Sox on Wednesday. He had been skipped in his previous start because of a sore left knee.

It was Tepesch's first win since June 27, bringing him to 4-7 with a 4.46 ERA on the year. He has won two straight starts just once this season, on May 21 and May 26.

"Any time you take the ball you want to string together good starts and help give the team a chance to win," Tepesch said. "I try to go from inning to inning and break it down even more like that. I feel like if you can do that, it's going to make it a lot easier on you mentally and you're not worrying about what's happened or what's going to happen. You're worried about right now."

Consistency is what manager Ron Washington is looking for from all of his young starters.

"With young pitchers, you get one to two good starts and two to three bad ones," Washington said. "If we can get three good ones with one bad one, we'll be in good shape."

The Rays, meanwhile, will be looking for Hellickson to pick up where Smyly left off, as they have little margin for error if they want to make any sort of run at the postseason.

Hellickson, who is 1-1 with a 2.61 ERA in his four starts this season, turned in a gem in his last outing, beating the A's in Oakland with seven innings of one-run ball.

"They really didn't give me much chance to nibble -- they were up there swinging and putting balls in play," Hellickson said. "As long as they're not making good contact early, I'll take those early swings all day."

The right-hander is 0-4 with a 5.32 ERA in five career starts against the Rangers, including both the regular season and postseason.

"Any time you come here, you're going to have your hands full," Hellickson said. "It's a tough place to pitch. They're always going to put out a good lineup."

Rangers: Carp ready to return
Mike Carp should be back in the lineup on Tuesday after dealing with a tight left groin muscle for the past couple of days.

Carp was available on Monday night but wasn't in the starting lineup because left-hander Drew Smyly was on the mound for the Rays. Carp will likely get almost all his starts when there is a right-hander on the mound, and Jeremy Hellickson is pitching for the Rays on Tuesday.

Carp, who was claimed on trade waivers from the Red Sox last week, left Saturday's game in the third inning.

"I just felt a tweak getting out of the way of a pitch," Carp said. "It was a little precautionary to keep me from doing anything crazy. I felt some discomfort in there but it's nothing too serious."

Rays: Remembering happy times in Arlington last year
The last time the Rays were in Arlington -- at what is now known as Globe Life Park -- they played Game 163 of the 2013 season. They defeated the Rangers that night.

David Price pitched a complete game and Evan Longoria homered in the win as the Rays advanced to the American League Wild Card Game at Cleveland.

"We celebrated in here, I know that," Longoria said. "... That whole week-and-a-half, two-week period was a whirlwind experience. But I do remember celebrating in here."

The Rays had bowed out against the Rangers in their two previous postseason meetings, which made the win even sweeter.

Worth noting
• When Tepesch starts on Tuesday, it will be the 37th straight game the Rangers have started a right-hander -- their longest such streak since 2007. The Rangers haven't had a lefty start since Joe Saunders on June 30.

• In their recently completed series at Wrigley Field, Rays pitchers struck out 44 batters, tying the modern-day record for most strikeouts in a three-game series. Comments