Indians-Rangers Preview

The AL West-leading Texas Rangers made a nice comeback to

continue their lengthy winning streak against the Cleveland

Indians. They might need another big rally if C.J. Wilson’s recent

woes continue.

Wilson tries to rebound from his two worst outings of the season

Saturday night when the Rangers go for their eighth consecutive

victory over the Indians.

Trailing 7-2 in the third inning Friday, Texas (63-50) rallied

for an 8-7, 11-inning win in the series opener. Michael Young

delivered a game-tying, two-run homer with two outs in the ninth,

and Elvis Andrus scored the winner off Josh Hamilton’s two-out

infield single.

“We’re getting into the last month-and-a-half, two months,” said

Young, three hits shy of 2,000 after going 2 for 5. “It’s time for

us to put our foot on the gas and make something happen.”

Texas is looking to win three in a row after dropping six of

eight.

This is the second time in two years the Rangers have won seven

straight over Cleveland (55-55), but they haven’t had a longer

winning streak in the series since taking 13 in a row during the

1978 and ’79 seasons.

The Indians have lost 17 of 20 to Texas but are hoping to take

advantage of a struggling Wilson (10-5, 3.38 ERA), who has allowed

13 runs over a combined 7 2-3 innings in his last two starts. He

gave up seven walks and 14 hits in that span.

“When you’re not able to throw the ball where you want to, it’s

just an unsettling feeling,” the left-hander said after pitching a

season-low 3 2-3 innings in Sunday’s 7-3 loss at Toronto. “It’s

kind of frustrating.

“My mechanics are off, for sure, but I’m not really able to

isolate one particular thing. I threw 80-something pitches and it

looked like I threw with 40 different deliveries.”

Wilson, though, was dominant in a 2-0 road win over Cleveland on

June 5, tossing 7 2-3 innings of three-hit ball.

The Indians, losers of six of seven in Arlington, will have

Fausto Carmona (5-11, 5.31) on the hill.

The right-hander lasted 7 1-3 innings in Sunday’s 5-3 loss to

Kansas City, surrendering four runs and six hits. Carmona is 1-1

with a 2.79 ERA in three starts following a short stay on the

disabled list with a strained right quadriceps.

“He’s throwing well. That’s all I’m going to say,” manager Manny

Acta said. “I’ve seen him and a couple of our guys put together six

or seven good ones and go back. I don’t want to swallow my words.

Hopefully, he gives us a chance to win every five days.”

Facing the Rangers could make that difficult for Carmona, who is

2-7 with a 5.43 ERA in 10 career starts in this matchup after

getting tagged for four runs and seven hits in a 4-0 loss June

4.

Hamilton hit a two-run homer off Carmona in that game and is 7

for 17 against him. The reigning AL MVP is batting .378 (17 for 45)

during a 10-game hitting streak.

Rangers catcher Mike Napoli has hit safely in nine straight,

batting .459 with five home runs and nine RBIs. Napoli, who has an

RBI in a career-best seven consecutive games after going deep

Friday, has four hits – including a home run – in 13 at-bats

against Carmona.

Indians catcher Carlos Santana is 5 for 8 with two homers and

eight RBIs in the last two games. He’s 1 for 5 with a double off

Wilson.

Travis Hafner is expected to return to Cleveland’s lineup after

getting Friday off.