Published November 20, 2014
Texas tries to continue its recent mastery of the Cleveland game set against them at the Ballpark in Arlington.
The Rangers have won seven of their eight meetings with the Indians this season and have won nine of the last 10 in the series dating back to last season, while going 19-4 against them since the start of the 2009 campaign.
That trend continued in Tuesday's opener, as Josh Hamilton clubbed the go- ahead two-run homer in the fifth inning and David Murphy went deep twice as part of a 4-for-4 night in Texas' 10-4 rout. Elvis Andrus stroked a two- run double and pinch-hitter Craig Gentry singled in a pair of runs for the Rangers, who have won two straight and three of their last four.
Matt Harrison (12-9) gave up seven hits and three runs over five-plus innings, and the Rangers remained three games ahead of the Angels for first place in the AL West.
A big reason behind the Rangers' recent success has been third baseman Adrian Beltre, who homered in Tuesday's win to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. He is batting .391 (27-for-69) over the tear -- the longest active streak in the AL -- and has seen his average rise nearly 20 points (from .268 to .287) over that span.
In 11 games since coming off the disabled list Beltre is batting .383 with four homers and 13 RBI.
Justin Masterson (11-10) yielded eight hits and six runs over five-plus frames and fell to 0-4 lifetime against the Rangers.
Carlos Santana had three hits, including a pair of solo homers, for the Indians, who lost for the sixth time in eight contests.
Heading to the hill for the Rangers tonight will be surprising left-hander Derek Holland, who is 13-5 with a 4.12 earned run average. Holland did not get a decision on Wednesday against Tampa Bay, as he allowed four runs (three earned) and six hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 5-4 loss.
After tossing a five-hit shutout against the Indians back on June 4, Holland couldn't get out of the second inning against them on August 5, as he surrendered six runs (four earned) and five hits in just 1 2/3 frames.
"I know what I need to do," Holland said. "I'm just worried about this game and not what happened in the past. This is a game we need to win. I need to go out there and execute my pitches."
Cleveland, meanwhile, will pin its hopes on lefty David Huff, who has lost his last two starts. Huff fell for the third time in four starts and for the fourth time in five decisions on Thursday in Chicago, as the White Sox reached him for three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings, dropping him to 2-4 on the year to go along with a 3.05 ERA.
Huff beat the Rangers the only other time he has met them, scattering a pair of runs and four hits in a complete-game effort.