Indians-Rangers Preview

After a rough five-game stretch to open July, the Texas Rangers

appear to have found some life at the plate.

Coming off a big offensive effort, the Rangers look to avoid a

third straight losing series Wednesday night against the Cleveland


Texas totaled 13 runs while dropping four of five before a 12-1

victory Tuesday to even this three-game set.

The AL West-leading Rangers (49-34) have not won consecutive

games since taking the final two of a three-game series against

Houston from June 25-27.

Josh Hamilton extended his home hitting streak to 26 games after

going 2 for 4 with his 21st homer Tuesday. Shortstop Joaquin Arias

drove in four runs in place of All-Star Elvis Andrus, who got the

night off as the Rangers recorded 17 hits.

Hamilton, who has the second-longest home hitting streak in club

history behind Al Oliver’s 30 games in 1981, is batting .342

overall and .365 at home. He’s hitting .364 against the Indians

this season.

After C.J. Wilson allowed a run and two hits in six innings,

scheduled starter Colby Lewis (7-5, 3.35 ERA) looks to give the

Rangers a second straight strong effort.

Since going 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA from June 8-19, Lewis is 0-1

with a 5.73 ERA in his last two starts. He didn’t receive a

decision after allowing three runs in six innings of a 5-3 loss to

the Chicago White Sox on Friday.

The right-hander is 1-0 with a 7.00 ERA in two career starts

against Cleveland. He gave up two runs and struck out 10 in 5 1-3

innings of a 6-2 win April 14.

Cleveland (33-50) managed five hits Tuesday, one night after

pounding out 12 in a 9-3 victory. Jayson Nix had two hits and

notched his fifth homer as the Indians lost for the third time in

10 games.

Nix, 4 for 8 with three homers and four RBIs in the series, is

batting .316 in 11 games since the Indians picked him up after he

was released by the White Sox.

Cleveland could use another strong game from Nix if first

baseman Matt LaPorta is to miss a second straight contest after

taking an accidental elbow to the head from Andrus on Monday.

LaPorta has hit four of his five homers in the last seven


“That’s a delicate thing and we’re just being cautious with

him,” manager Manny Acta said.

Cleveland’s Mitch Talbot (8-7, 3.86) takes the mound after he

allowed three runs and walked four in 5 1-3 innings of a 3-0 loss

to Oakland on Friday. Though Talbot has lost two of three starts,

he has a 2.33 ERA during that span.

The right-hander is facing Texas for the first time.