Texas Rangers (43-67) at Cleveland Indians (55-55), 1:05 p.m. (ET)
08/03/2014 10:38 AM
08/03/2014 10:42 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Indians have a chance to push themselves back above .500 when they finish up a three-game set with the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field on Sunday.
The Indians won the first two games of the series, rolling to a 12-2 triumph on Friday and squeaking out a 2-0 victory on Saturday.
RBI singles from Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Swisher amounted to the entire offensive output for Cleveland on Saturday. Luckily, it was more than enough for T.J. House and the Indians bullpen. House struck out seven in five scoreless innings and Scott Atchison, Nick Hagadone, Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
"I thought he did good," Indians manager Terry Francona said of House. "It was an interesting line, the way he got there. So many of the at-bats went five pitches at more. Deep count at-bats, so his pitch count was high. But I think only one ball went to the outfield."
Cleveland has won three of its last four games.
Texas, which has lost three of its last four, managed just five hits on Saturday, wasting a strong effort from Miles Mikolas (seven innings, two runs).
"I threw a lot of strikes, I think," said Mikolas. "A lot of things we worked on in that last bullpen (session), everything started to come together. I felt like I threw a lot of quality strikes. I went right after the hitters."
Staff ace Yu Darvish will be out to improve his Cy Young resume when he takes the hill for Texas in Sunday's series finale.
While the Rangers have not lived up to their recent success, Darvish has done just fine for himself this season, sporting a 10-6 record and 2.90 ERA entering play. The Japanese right-hander is once again fanning batters at an incredible rate, with 167 strikeouts in 133 1/3 innings of work this season. He has also been eating up more innings, with his first two complete games coming this season.
Although he did not go the full nine is last start, Darvish still pitched well. He let up only two runs over seven innings and struck out eight batters to earn his 10th win, as the Rangers defeated the Yankees 4-2.
Darvish has not pitched against the Indians this season and is 1-2 with a 3.79 ERA in three career starts against them.
Tasked with the difficult job of opposing Darvish will be Trevor Bauer.
The 23-year-old has pitched in the past three MLB seasons, although this is the first in which he has been a mainstay in a big league rotation. In 15 starts he has gone 4-6 with a 4.25 ERA, dropping his career mark to 4.63. He is also striking out nearly one batter per inning, with 85 punchouts in 89 total innings.
Bauer will need to quickly forget his last start, however, as he struggled in a 5-2 loss to Seattle on Tuesday. In the losing effort he allowed a season- high five runs on eight hits before being pulled with one out in the fifth inning.
On June 6 Bauer made his first career start against Texas. The outing wasn't a roaring success, but he did give his team a chance to win, allowing four runs over 6 1/3 innings. He did not factor in the decision, which went in favor of the Rangers (6-4).
Cleveland has won five of six against the Rangers in the season series.
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