Published January 13, 2015
The Cleveland Indians try to avoid a ninth straight loss on Tuesday evening when they resume a three-game series against the first- place Texas Rangers.
The Indians have lost the first seven of a nine-game swing and 12 straight on the road overall. They have not won as the guest since May 23 in Boston.
Monday's 6-3 loss was Cleveland's 14th in its past 17 as it failed to hold an early lead against AL West-leading Texas. Carlos Santana hit a three-run double in the third frame to put the Tribe up by two, but the Ranges tied the game in the fourth inning on Jeff Baker's two-run homer.
Texas then went ahead for good in the seventh frame, when Lance Berkman hit a two-run homer and Nelson Cruz doubled home Adrian Beltre.
Josh Lindblom pitched six innings in the start, giving up three runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts in a no-decision.
"After he gave up those three runs he really locked in," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Lindblom. "He kept us around and gave us a chance. He pitched well tonight."
Texas began an 11-game homestand with a second straight victory overall and leads second-place Oakland by a game in the AL West. The Rangers conclude their residency with four straight against the A's.
Scott Kazmir (3-4) gave up four runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six-plus innings to drop his second straight start for Cleveland.
"We're struggling," Kazmir admitted. "It's just little things that cost us a game. It could be a pitch. It could be defensively, offensively."
Things won't get any easier tonight for the Indians, who will face off against the rolling Derek Holland.
The Texas left-hander has not lost since April 27, going 4-0 with a 2.31 earned run average in six May starts. The Rangers won all six games.
Holland did not get a decision last time out on Thursday in Boston to open his June slate, yielding a pair of runs over six frames in his club's 6-3 setback.
"He wasn't at his best, but he found a way to hold the lead and keep us in the ball game," said Washington. "That's just the maturity of Derek Holland."
The 26-year-old Holland is 5-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 12 starts this season and has never lost when facing the Indians. He is 3-0 in six previous meetings with a 2.31 ERA.
Indians righty Corey Kluber, meanwhile, will face the Rangers for the first time in his career and is winless in his past four starts. He is 0-2 in that span and Cleveland is without a victory.
Kluber, 27, is coming off a setback at the New York Yankees on Wednesday, charged with six runs -- four earned -- over six innings. He did strike out at least eight for the third time in four starts, but fell to 3-4 with a 4.56 ERA in 10 games (8 starts) this season.
Texas has won 13 of its last 16 home games against the Tribe and 27 of the previous 35 meetings overall.