CLEVELAND (AP) — Miles Mikolas pitched the best game of his career, but he couldn’t stop the Texas Rangers’ road woes.
The right-hander took a shutout into the sixth inning before Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Swisher delivered back-to-back RBI singles, giving the Cleveland Indians a 2-0 win over Texas on Saturday night.
Mikolas (1-4) struck out a career-high six and scattered five hits over seven innings, which was the second-longest outing in his 33 big league appearances.
"Miles really, really, really pitched well for us tonight," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was changing speeds, hitting spots, making pitches when he needed to. His curve was good, so was his change-up, and he moved his fastball around. It’s just too bad we couldn’t score runs for him."
Texas only managed five hits in losing for the 18th time in its last 21 road games. The Rangers, who have the worst record in the majors at 43-67, went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
Mikolas was their lone bright spot, preventing the Indians from getting a runner to second base over the first five frames. In the sixth, Chisenhall and Swisher both singled with two outs.
"Everything is starting to come together for me," said Mikolas, who has a 7.29 ERA in his first season as a starter. "I’m starting to throw strikes and a big thing was getting my curve over. Even the pitch to Chisenhall was poorly hit, but it’s all about location, not power sometimes."
Scott Atchison (4-0) went 1 2-3 innings. Closer Cody Allen walked J.P. Arencibia and gave up a single to Leonys Martin to open the ninth, but retired pinch-hitter Jim Adduci, Rougned Odor, and Daniel Robertson for his 14th save.
"Our offense is just not getting it done right now," Washington said. "And it wasn’t just one guy tonight. It was everyone. Sometimes, all it takes is one ground ball or a fly ball to get you going. I don’t care how it happens. We just need to push some runs across the plate."
Rangers right-handers Nick Tepesch (left knee soreness) and Jerome Williams are the candidates to start Wednesday at the White Sox. Williams took Tepesch’s turn in the rotation Friday, allowing 10 runs in a 12-2 loss to the Indians. Tepesch threw a bullpen session Friday and will toss another Sunday. "(Pitching coach Mike Maddux) wanted to look at him again," Washington said. "Then he’ll make the call."
HOT IN CLEVELAND
Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus went 1 for 3 to extend his Progressive Field-record hitting streak to 24 games. He has hits in 42 of his 43 career contests against Cleveland, but was caught in a rundown and thrown out while attempting to score in the sixth.
Rangers catcher Geovany Soto (strained right groin) was scheduled to catch seven innings Saturday on his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Round Rock. He went 1 for 2 with a walk Friday in his debut with the Express. Soto has only played in three major league games this season after undergoing right knee surgery in late March.
Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish (10-6) takes on Indians righty Trevor Bauer (4-5) in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday afternoon. Darvish’s 1.24 ERA in day games is the second lowest in the American League, while his 2.90 season ERA ranks ninth.