Darvish, Rangers go for series win against Indians

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians will welcome back manager Terry Francona to the dugout Wednesday night for the third contest of a four-game series with the visiting Texas Rangers.

Francona left the Monday game in the fifth inning after becoming ill in the dugout. He was taken to the Cleveland Clinic, where he spent the night undergoing a battery of tests that all came back negative.

He will continue to be monitored by doctors over the next several weeks.

“The doctors ruled out any major health issues, which was a big relief to all of us,” Indians president Chris Antonetti said. “It raises a red flag, but Tito underwent every test you could possibly imagine, and they all came back clean.”

The Indians and Rangers played two wildly contrasting games in the first two contests of their series. Cleveland won a slugfest 15-9 Monday. Texas won a pitchers’ duel 2-1 Tuesday.

Trevor Bauer (6-6, 5.53 ERA) starts for Cleveland on Wednesday. Bauer is averaging a career-high 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings this year, up by 2.3 over last year, but he also is averaging a career-high 9.4 hits per nine innings.

This will be Bauer’s first appearance against the Rangers this year. In three career starts against Texas, Bauer has no record and a 4.35 ERA.

Yu Darvish (6-5, 3.12 ERA) starts for Texas. Darvish last faced Cleveland on April 3, Opening Day, and he got a no-decision in an 8-5 Indians victory. In 6 1/3 innings, Darvish gave up four runs on four hits with four strikeouts and five walks.

In five career starts against Cleveland, Darvish is 1-2 with a 3.62 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings.

Darvish’s .199 opponents’ batting average ranks second in the American League. He is also third in the league in strikeouts (109), fifth in innings pitched (101) and fifth in ERA (3.12).

The Rangers come into the Wednesday game feeling better about closer Matt Bush, who has come through a turbulent handful of games to record saves in his past two outings.

In nine appearances prior to getting a save Sunday at Yankee Stadium, Bush had three losses, three blown saves and an ERA of 9.00 that raised his season ERA from 0.96 to 3.25.

However, Bush made it back-to-back saves by closing out the win Tuesday in Cleveland. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his 10th save of the year.

“He’s using his slider well and throwing his fastball into good locations,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “He’s getting his pitches where he needs to get them, and getting back to what made him successful. That’s to use a power fastball and then a slider/curve combination to get hitters off his fastball.”

The Rangers, who have homered in 21 of their 23 games this month, are 1-4 against the Indians this season.