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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
W2W4: Rangers-Brewers

By Todd Wills



ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers are back at home after a 9-1 road trip.

They've won eight straight games and 13 of 14. The home fans will see a red hot baseball team.

Now, it's time to improve on a 33-24 home record with two games against Milwaukee, followed by an off day Thursday and then three-game series against division rivals Seattle and Houston.

Here's what to watch for in a brief two-game series against the Brewers:

PODCAST
Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' hot streak and quick turnaround since their slump in July.

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Brewers finishing long trip: The Brewers are on the final swing of a three-city road trip that started in San Francisco, then went to Seattle and now ends in Texas after a long flight. The Brewers have done well on the trip, going 4-3 with a series win over the Mariners. They've won eight of their last 14 road games. They scored 10 runs in each of their wins at Seattle on Friday and Saturday before losing 2-0 on Sunday to Felix Hernandez.

Rare trip to Texas: Milwaukee will play in Arlington for the first time since 2007 when the Brewers lost two out of three to the Rangers. The teams split two games in May in Milwaukee. The Brewers still have strong Texas ties with general manager Doug Melvin, who held the same post with the Rangers from 1994-2001. Milwaukee gave the Rangers fits during their American League days and lead the all-time series 163-134.

Cleanup hitter returns: Aramis Ramirez will be back in the Brewers' lineup for the first time since July 6. He's been out with a sprained left knee. The knee problem has forced Ramirez into three disabled list stints, and that has robbed the Brewers of a key run producer, made worse by Ryan Braun's current 65-game suspension. Ramirez is batting .271 with five home runs and 26 RBIs.

No Cruz, Braun: Both pitching staffs will face lineups without a key power hitter -- for the Rangers it's Nelson Cruz, and for the Brewers it's Braun. Both players got caught in the Biogenesis case and are suspended for the rest of the regular season. The Rangers took the bigger hit because they are playoff contenders and Cruz was their home run and RBI leader. Bruan had nine home runs and 38 RBIs but only played in 61 games because of a back injury.

Power and speed: Brewers shortstop Jean Segura and center fielder Carlos Gomez are two of just three major league players with at least 10 home runs and 30 stolen bases. Segura, who came over to Milwaukee last season from the Angels in the Zack Greinke trade, has 12 home runs and 33 stolen bases. Gomez has 18 home runs and 30 stolen bases.