Right-hander Colby Lewis makes his first start in May after an unbeaten April tonight when the Texas Rangers visit Progressive Field for the first of three games with the host Cleveland Indians.
The 32-year-old Californian, with the Rangers organization since it drafted him in 1999, defeated Chicago, Boston and Tampa Bay amid five starts in the season's first month while allowing seven runs on 30 hits in 32 2/3 innings.
He downed the Rays in his most recent performance on April 28 in Texas after scattering three hits and allowing a single solo home run in the Rangers' 7-2 defeat of Tampa Bay.
Lewis has pitched at least six innings in all five starts and allowed two runs or less in each outing as well. Opponents have registered a .242 batting average, 19 points less than his career mark.
He is unbeaten in five career meetings with Cleveland, going 2-0 with a 5.87 earned run average in 23 innings.
The Indians counter with 24-year-old righty Jeanmar Gomez, who starts for the fourth time this season and the first in his career against Texas.
Gomez, who'd won nine games in his initial two seasons in the majors, opened this season with a scoreless two-inning relief outing against the Chicago before subsequent starts against Kansas City, Oakland and Los Angeles that have yielded a win, a loss and a no-decision.
He pitched six innings and allowed two runs on six hits in an April 28 outing against the Angels, but dropped a 2-1 verdict/
In 15 1/3 overall innings, Gomez has been touched for four runs on 10 hits in 15 1/3 innings.
On Thursday in Chicago, Jason Kipnis hit a run-scoring triple in the third and added a three-run homer in the seventh as the Indians downed the White Sox, 7-5, in the rubber match of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
Asdrubal Cabrera belted a solo shot and knocked in two while Casey Kotchman finished with two hits, an RBI and a run scored as Justin Masterson (1-2) got his first win of the season after allowing three runs on eight hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings.
Chris Perez got the final two outs of the game to record his ninth save of the year as the Indians took the last two of the series after dropping the opener.
On Wednesday in Toronto, Ricky Romero struck out six over eight strong innings to remain unbeaten as the Blue Jays defeated the Rangers, 11-5, in the finale of a three-game set at Rogers Centre.
Matt Harrison (3-2) had a forgettable outing, yielding eight runs on eight hits and two walks in just 3 1/3 innings of work. Elvis Andrus had two hits and knocked in two runs, while Brandon Snyder hit his first major league home run.
The Rangers have dropped their last two series and lost consecutive games for the first time.
Texas was 9-1 versus the Indians last season.