The Texas Rangers were hoping to add to their recent dominance of the Cleveland Indians with help from rejuvenated starter Alexi Ogando.
Instead, they’re expected to send out Josh Lindblom for Monday night’s opener against the sputtering Indians, losers of a season-high seven in a row and 11 straight on the road.
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Texas (37-25) ended a three-game losing streak with a 6-4 victory over Toronto on Sunday. Adrian Beltre hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning and extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
“It was huge,” Beltre said. “We haven’t been playing well lately in every phase of the game.”
The Rangers were hoping to open this 11-game homestand by giving the ball to Ogando, who allowed one run over 5 2-3 innings in his return from the disabled list Wednesday.
The right-hander, though, is heading back to the DL with inflammation in his throwing shoulder. Ogando, 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in two career starts against Cleveland, missed three weeks in May with tendinitis in his right biceps.
Lindblom (0-1, 7.71 ERA) was called up from the minors Sunday and will make his second major league start. He allowed four runs in 4 2-3 innings May 20 in a 9-2 loss to Oakland.
In this outing, Lindblom will face a team that’s batting .219 and has been outscored 45-24 in its last seven games. The Indians have also been outscored 67-35 during their 11-game road losing streak, their longest in a single season since a franchise-record 15 straight losses to end 2009.
They got their only run in Sunday’s 4-1 loss in Detroit on Ryan Raburn’s homer. Nick Swisher, meanwhile, recorded only his second hit in 36 at-bats – a single – and Mark Reynolds dropped to 2 for 21 in his last six games.
“We’re playing as hard as we can, just not catching any breaks,” Raburn said.
Scott Kazmir (3-3, 5.24) will try to help Cleveland (30-32) snap its skids while bouncing back from a lackluster start. The left-hander gave up four runs over six innings Tuesday in a 4-3 defeat to the New York Yankees after going 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his previous two starts.
“There are a couple of pitches that I wish I had back, that’s for sure,” Kazmir told the team’s website. “That’s all the difference in the game.”
Kazmir is 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 13 career starts against the Rangers but hasn’t faced them since Sept. 30, 2010. Texas has won 12 of its last 15 home games against Cleveland and 26 of 34 overall.
Beltre, batting .387 with five homers during his hitting streak, is batting .565 with four home runs in his last six contests against the Indians. He’s 5 for 23 with 10 strikeouts against Kazmir.
Michael Bourn is the only player to get a hit off Lindblom, going 2 for 2 with a double. Drew Stubbs is 0 for 6 with five strikeouts versus the right-hander.