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Friday, August 1, 2014
W2W4: Rangers at Indians

By Calvin Watkins

The Rangers begin a nine-game in 10-day road trip starting in Cleveland on Friday night.

Here's our preview of the series.

What’s up with the Indians? The Tribe is 6-7 in the second half of the season and has lost five of its last seven games. Cleveland has 31 home games remaining, most in the majors. OF David Murphy played with the Rangers from 2007 to 2013 and in four games against his former club, he’s 6-of-15 with three doubles. 3B Lonnie Chisenhall is batting .312/.380/.478. CF Michael Brantley leads the Indians in RBIs (65) and is second in OBP (.374). The Indians traded opening day starter Justin Masterson to St. Louis the day before the non-waiver trade deadline and starting shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to Washington on the day of the trading deadline.

What’s up with the Rangers? The Rangers are coming off a series win for the first time since the end of June after taking two-of-three from the New York Yankees. It’s the first winning series since June 27-29 over Minnesota. The Rangers finished July at 6-20 and hope to begin August on a better note. Adrian Beltre finished the completed six-game homestand 8-for-24 with five RBIs, five runs and two walks. Neftali Feliz regained the closer's role after Joakim Soria was traded and Feliz has converted all three of his save opportunities.

The trading season continues: The Rangers didn't trade RF Alex Rios or LHP Neal Cotts before Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline. But starting August 1 teams can begin sending players through waivers and if that particular player clears, he can be dealt. It's how Rios was acquired last season from the Chicago White Sox. The Rangers are open to keeping both players but could send Rios through to see if anything is out there.

Darvish vs. Cleveland: Staff ace Yu Darvish is 1-2 in three starts against the Indians with 30 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched. Nick Swisher is 1-of-7 lifetime against Darvish with five strikeouts. This is the sixth time Darvish will pitch on five days rest. He’s 3-1 with a no-decision when that occurs. In his only meeting against the Indians, June 6 in Arlington, he earned the win on four-days rest, while allowing four runs on nine hits. He struck out eight but allowed two home runs.

Who pitches? Friday night: RHP Jerome Williams (2-4, 5.53) vs. RHP Danny Salazar (3-4, 4.96). Saturday night: RHP Miles Mikolas (1-3, 8.54) vs. LHP TJ House (1-2, 4.50). Sunday RHP Darvish (10-6, 2.90) vs. RHP Trevor Bauer (4-5, 3.93).