Friday, July 26, 2013
By Todd Wills
The Rangers try to get their offense revived with a short three-game trip to Cleveland before returning home to play the Los Angeles Angels.
The Rangers-Yankees series -- which ended in a split of four games -- had very little offense with the teams combining for 18 runs.
Texas-Cleveland could be a low-scoring weekend series. The Rangers have scored 17 runs since the All-Star break. The Tribe had scored 14 runs in five games before routing Seattle 10-1 on Wednesday.
Here's what to watch for:
Out for revenge: The Rangers lost two of three to Cleveland on June 10-12 in Arlington, so they'll have a chance for revenge at Jacobs Field. The Rangers lost both games 5-2, beginning a six-game losing streak in which they scored two or fewer runs in every game. The Rangers go to Cleveland back in offensive-futility mode again. They've scored two or fewer runs in seven of their last 12 games.
Tribe struggling too: Cleveland lost four out of six games on its road trip after the All-Star break, winning the series finales against Seattle and Minnesota. Defense was a big problem. The Indians made nine errors on the trip. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall has made four errors in four games.
Indians are pitching: Cleveland's pitching has been solid over a long stretch with a 3.60 ERA for the last 37 games going back to the June 11, when they beat the Rangers. Only Tampa Bay and Oakland have better staff ERA's during that span. Cleveland pitchers have allowed three home runs in the last 13 games.
Dominating the AL West: Cleveland is making an impact on the American League West race. The Indians are 13-4 against the West, including that 2-1 record against the Rangers. That's the best winning percentage against a division in the majors. All four losses have come on the road.
Kipnis stays hot: Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has come out of the break still hot, with five hits in 19 at-bats. He has two home runs, five RBIs and four runs since the All-Star break. Kipnis was the American League Player of the Month for June, batting .419 with four home runs, 25 RBIs and a .517 on-base percentage.