Mark Buehrle is the fastest-working pitching in baseball, taking an average of 17.1 seconds between pitches. He's reached 10 wins quicker this season than ever before in his career, and he owns a 13-5 record in 20 career starts against the Rangers.
But Buehrle also hasn't won since June 1st -- and that's something he'd like to change on Sunday as the Blue Jays face the Rangers in the rubber match.
"I'm going five innings. It's not really called for," said Buehrle after his last start, an 8-5 loss to the Rays. "I'm upset. ... You put your bullpen in a tough situation, so I need to go deeper in a game to give us a chance to win."
Buehrle will pitch against Rangers right-hander Nick Tepesch, who is also focusing on going as deep as he can into ballgames.
Tepesch made his Major League debut April 9, 2013, and he said in the year-plus that he's been with the Rangers, he's been noticing steady improvement.
"I think I'm definitely progressing. It's taking little things that may pop up here and there," Tepesch said. "The last game or the game before, being able to notice when something like that maybe has popped back up and I've already been through it."
While the Blue Jays are 50-48, the Rangers have yet to win 40 games this season with a 39-58 record. The Blue Jays are in a tight battle with the Yankees for second palce in the AL East behind the Orioles, while the Rangers have the worst record in baseball.
"Everybody is going to put pressure on themselves, because we want to do what we can to win the game and help everybody in this clubhouse get better," Tepesch said. "Anytime you're out on the field, you want to win, no matter the situation. There is always pride."
Rangers: Rios exits with sprained right ankle
Rangers right fielder Alex Rios exited Saturday's game with a sprained right ankle. X-rays were negative and he is listed as day to day.
Shin-Soo Choo has been in the designated hitter spot for the first two games of the series, and he was supposed to have a day off Sunday with third baseman Adrian Beltre going to the DH spot for the day. That could change with Rios' ankle injury.
Rios is hitting .302 on the season with 21 doubles and eight triples.
Blue Jays: Bautista gets breather at DH
Jose Bautista, still not fully recovered from a strained left hamstring, got a little rest on Saturday against the Rangers. He was the designated hitter after playing Friday's game in his regular position at right field.
A calf injury to Nolan Reimold, who had replaced a recovering Bautista in right field prior to the All-Star break, forced the Blue Jays' star slugger back into outfield duty earlier than the club would've liked, according to manager John Gibbons.
"It's not ideal," said Gibbons. "He's still guarding [his hamstring] a little bit. But I don't think he's far from [being 100 percent]. We've got him DHing to give him a breather, but we still need him out there."
Bautista was the DH in five games before taking over first-base duties for six. His presence in the lineup, even at less than 100 percent, is certainly needed as the team copes with injuries to Brett Lawrie, Edwin Encarnacion, and Adam Lind.
• Melky Cabrera has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games. He went 3-for-4 with a double on Saturday.
• Max Pentecost, the Blue Jays' 11th overall pick from the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, has hit in all four games (6-for-16) with Class A Vancouver since being promoted from the Gulf Coast League.
• The Rangers haven't gained ground in the AL West since June 16 with a win against Oakland.
• The Rangers haven't won consecutive games since June 27-28.
Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.