Rangers-Indians Preview

The Texas Rangers have had little trouble scoring runs during

their recent surge, a trend which may not bode well for struggling

starter Fausto Carmona and the slumping Cleveland Indians.

Texas’s high-powered offense visits Cleveland on Saturday night

to continue their four-game set.

The Rangers (32-26) beat the Indians 11-1 on Friday for their

sixth victory in seven games. The lopsided win marked the fifth

time during that stretch Texas has scored at least seven runs and

the third with at least 10.

Josh Hamilton went 3 for 4 with a three-run homer, and Nelson

Cruz added a two-run shot. Hamilton is 6 for 14 (.429) and Nelson

Cruz is 4 for 10 (.400) with two home runs lifetime against

Carmona.

If Carmona (3-6, 5.31 ERA) is to help Cleveland (33-22) snap out

of a funk in which it’s lost seven of 10, he’ll likely have to

improve vastly from his previous three starts.

The right-hander has lost each of those outings while sporting a

10.06 ERA, giving up 21 runs and 21 hits through 17 innings.

Carmona allowed nine runs – seven earned – over four innings Monday

in an 11-1 loss at Toronto.

He hasn’t fared much better recently against Texas, going 0-3

with a 6.86 ERA in the last four starts while allowing 10 walks and

15 runs through 19 2-3 innings.

The Rangers’ offense has benefited starter Derek Holland (4-1,

4.96), who has never faced the Indians.

Though Holland’s record looks impressive, he’s received 6.89

runs of support per nine innings to overcome an ERA nearly a full

run more than his 4.08 mark last season. The left-hander has

allowed at least three runs in eight of 11 starts while pitching

into the seventh inning in four of them.

He went six straight starts without a decision before beating

Tampa Bay on Monday, allowing five runs through 5 2-3 innings.

Although Holland has pitched poorly his last two starts, he’ll

be facing an offense that has cooled considerably.

The Indians, who still owns the AL’s best record, have scored 11

total runs in their last seven defeats while amassing 26 during the

three wins in that 10-game stretch.

”We’re going through a rough spot like everybody else,” manager

Manny Acta said. “I’m very thankful we still haven’t gone through

one of those long stretches like everyone else, and we want to keep

it that way.”

Grady Sizemore once again hit in the middle of the lineup rather

than leadoff to compensate for the absence of slugger Travis

Hafner, who strained his right oblique in batting practice May

18.

Cleveland has dropped a season-high four straight at home after

Friday’s loss, which also continued Texas’ dominance against the

Indians. The Rangers have won 14 of the last 17 meetings and nine

of the last 10 at Progressive Field.

“The past two nights we’ve played some good baseball,” manager

Ron Washington said. “I just hope we can continue it because at any

moment (the Indians) can rise up.”

Elvis Andrus went 4 for 5 with a three-run double and has hit

safely in each of his 15 career games against Cleveland. His .414

lifetime average versus the Indians is his highest against any AL

team.