(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Indians kick off their road trip at Globe Life Park in Arlington on Friday night as they play the first of three games against the Texas Rangers.
Cleveland just wrapped up a six-game homestand and will now play seven straight on the road. The Indians are bringing up the rear in the American League Central Division (12-21) and have dropped five of their last seven.
The bats were unable to back starter Trevor Bauer in Thursday's rubber match against St. Louis as the Tribe fell, 2-1. Bauer went 7 1/3 innings and gave up just one run on four hits, striking out 10 in the process.
"I got back to doing things that I know work for me," Bauer said. "Being aggressive, the intent I throw the ball with, pitching with more velocity, efficient game plan -- stuff like that. I was happy to see it turn out that way. It's unfortunate that we came out on the losing end again."
Cleveland's offense was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine baserunners. Reliever Marc Rzepczynski served up the deciding two-run home run to Matt Carpenter in the eighth inning.
Texas (15-20) is seven games off the pace in the AL West after splitting a four-game home set with Kansas City this week.
The Rangers are coming off Thursday's 6-3 setback in which they were out-hit, 14-7. Ross Detwiler dropped to 0-5 on the season as he allowed three runs on nine hits over five innings, dropping his ERA to 6.95.
"I've just been leaving a lot of fastballs up," Detwiler said. "Especially in bad counts, you can't do that, especially against a team like this that's hitting almost .300 as a team."
On a positive note for Texas, former Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo continued his recent tear at the plate, going 3-for-4 to extended his American League-best 14-game hitting streak.
Toeing the rubber for the Rangers is Wandy Rodriguez, who is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA through four starts. In his most recent outing, the southpaw got a no- decision at Tampa Bay as he went six innings and allowed just one earned run on two hits, striking out six and walking one. Rodriguez retired the first 15 hitters to set a club record of 34 straight going back to his last start.
This will be just his second start this season in front of the home fans and his first-ever start against the Indians.
Bruce Chen makes his second start of the season for Cleveland as he hopes to hang on to the fifth spot in the rotation. The 37-year-old was called up from Triple-A to face Minnesota last weekend and was tagged for six runs on 10 hits over just four innings in his debut.
The Tribe won six of seven against the Rangers last season.