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Diamondbacks, Rangers square off in two-game interleague series

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The Texas Rangers head home after losing three of four games in the Bronx against the New York Yankees this weekend to host the Arizona Diamondbacks in a truncated two-game interleague series that begins Monday at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

Arizona will send ace right-hander Zack Greinke (12-7, 2.89 ERA) to the mound for the opening game of the set to oppose ageless Rangers right-hander Bartolo Colon (6-10, 5.18).

Texas and Arizona split a two-game series in Phoenix on July 30-31. The Rangers are 5-5 versus National League teams this season, including 4-2 at home, winning series against Colorado and San Diego 2 games to 1.

The Rangers lost to New York 7-2 on Sunday afternoon as starter Martin Perez was outdueled by the Yankees’ venerable CC Sabathia.

“Unbelievable — I got 16 ground balls, and they had five infield hits,” Perez told after the loss. “I just threw a couple of pitches up, and they got hit. I just need to get the ball down. When I get the ball down, I do good. In the four innings, I was down, and everything was good. As soon as I started to leave the ball up, that’s when they started hitting.”

The Diamondbacks visit the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex after belting five home runs in a 9-2 win at Cincinnati on Sunday. The victory allowed Arizona to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the last-place Reds. Two of the round-trippers came from Paul Goldschmidt.

Losses in the first two games of the series in Cincinnati prompted a team meeting Saturday night that restoked the Diamondbacks’ sense of urgency.

“It was a game we really wanted to win,” said Arizona third baseman Daniel Descalso, who set the tone for the win with a 3-run homer in the first inning. “I don’t know if it was a must win, but it felt like we really needed to play with a sense of urgency today, and we did.

“We have talked about needing to keep the pedal down. Keep trying to score and put the game out of reach instead of giving the other team hope they can come back. Today was a really nice job of that.”

Greinke was solid his last time out in a loss to the Phillies. The righty allowed a run on three hits in seven innings with four walks and four strikeouts. Greinke has lost back-to-back starts despite going at least six innings and allowing two runs or fewer.

He is 3-5 with a 2.61 ERA in 15 games — 13 starts — versus the Rangers.

Colon will make his 24th appearance and 22nd start of the season in Monday’s homestand opener. He earned the win in his last start on Tuesday versus Seattle to garner career victory No. 246, passing Nicaragua’s Dennis Martinez (245) for most in MLB history by a native of Latin America.

Colon will be facing the D-backs for the second time in the span of three starts; he took the loss on July 31 at Arizona in the Rangers’ 6-0 defeat. He is 1-3 with a 4.67 ERA in six career games, all starts, against the Diamondbacks.

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