Jurickson Profar, Padres go for series win vs. Rangers

Barring a World Series matchup, the San Diego Padres won’t be seeing Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, again this season following Thursday’s rubber match of a three-game series with the Texas Rangers.

However, it’s a different story for San Diego left fielder Jurickson Profar.

On Wednesday, Profar was named a starter for this year’s All-Star Game, set for July 16 in Arlington. It was the 31-year-old’s first career All-Star selection.

“That’s why I kept working,” said Profar, who spent the first five seasons of his major league career with the Rangers. “I could’ve been rich and just be whatever, living on an island. … But I kept working, and it’s paying off.”

Fellow San Diego outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr. was also elected as an All-Star starter, but he is currently out with a right femoral stress reaction and will likely miss the Midsummer Classic.

For now, Profar will try to help San Diego win its series against the Rangers. A victory would propel the Padres to a season-high-tying five games above .500 at 48-43. Profar has gone 2-for-7 over the series’ first two games. He singled twice, walked, stole a base and scored a run in Wednesday’s 6-4 win.

Texas manager Bruce Bochy said that his team needs to do a better job of holding runners on after San Diego swiped five bases on Wednesday.

Limiting the running game presents another challenge for the defending champions, who have struggled to a 39-47 record this season. The Rangers find themselves seven games out of first in the American League West.

The Rangers won Tuesday’s series opener 7-0 but are just 2-7 over their past nine games. Texas received a boost on Wednesday when shortstop Corey Seager returned to the lineup after a two-game absence stemming from getting hit by a pitch on the wrist.

Seager hit an RBI double in his return to extend his hitting streak to eight games.

Thursday’s game will pit a pair of right-handers against each other in the Rangers’ Max Scherzer (1-1, 1.74 ERA) and the Padres’ Michael King (6-5, 3.61).

Scherzer has allowed two runs over 10 1/3 innings across two starts this year since returning from offseason back surgery.

Both of those runs came during last Friday’s 2-1 road loss to the Baltimore Orioles. The three-time Cy Young Award winner lasted 5 1/3 innings and notched his 3,372nd career strikeout to move into 11th place on the all-time list.

Scherzer’s workload has been light so far — he threw 77 pitches against the Orioles after tossing 57 in his season debut against the Kansas City Royals on June 23.

“I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on this,” Scherzer said. “I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but physically, I am finally getting into a better spot.”

In 19 career starts against the Padres, Scherzer is 7-4 with a 3.02 ERA.

King’s monthly ERA has progressively lowered during his first full season as a starter.

King is set to take the mound for the first time in July after posting a 2.67 ERA over six starts in June. He closed last month by limiting the Boston Red Sox to one run in six innings in San Diego’s 11-1 road win last Saturday.

All six of King’s career appearances (zero starts) vs. Texas came when he was with the New York Yankees. King is 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA against the Rangers.

–Field Level Media