The Texas Rangers bid for their first series victory on the road in nearly two months when they continue their three-game set against the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.
The Rangers flexed their muscles with a pair of three-run homers in a 7-3 win over the Indians in the series opener on Tuesday.
Texas, which improved to 16-47 on the road this season, took two of three games from the Oakland Athletics on June 29-July 1 for its last series victory away from Arlington.
Nathaniel Lowe highlighted a career-high, five-hit performance by joining DJ Peters with three-run blasts on Tuesday. Lowe is batting .474 (9-for-19) during his four-game hitting streak.
“It’s an ebb-and-flow kind of thing,” Lowe said. “I’m liking the way this little stretch is going, and hopefully we’re going to build on this success going forward.”
Andy Ibanez carries a pair of streaks into Wednesday’s contest. He has hit safely in eight straight games and recorded four consecutive multi-hit performances after collecting three singles on Tuesday.
Keeping Lowe, Ibanez and the rest of the Rangers in check will be the task of Cleveland right-hander Zach Plesac (7-4, 4.87 ERA), who will take the mound on Wednesday.
Plesac, 26, escaped with a no-decision in his last outing despite allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Minnesota Twins. He allowed a mammoth homer to Miguel Sano, marking his 11th straight start in which he has been taken deep.
“My pitches feel good,” Plesac said. “I’m trying to find that groove. I feel good with everything, and I’m gonna continue to just keep executing and make sure I get those pitches down and think about the counts that if I gave up a hit when I was ahead, and just continue to see how that lineup plays all the way around, second or third time facing them, in different situations, what they’re looking for, and continue to learn about them.”
Plesac has pitched well in a pair of starts against the Rangers in his career. He owns a 1-0 record with a 0.69 ERA in those outings.
Texas was forced to perform a quick two-step with its rotation after right-handers Spencer Howard and Dane Dunning failed to join the team in Cleveland because of health and safety protocols. Right-handers Mike Foltynewicz and Drew Anderson, infielders Brock Holt and Charlie Culberson as well as catcher Jonah Heim are on the COVID-19 list.
“We are continuing to take extreme precaution in terms of the health and safety protocols,” Rangers general manager Chris Young said. “The team is undergoing additional testing on a daily basis. We have required masks at the park, hotel and buses. We are doing our best to prevent further spread.”
Left-hander Jake Latz will make his major-league debut on Wednesday.
Latz, 25, posted a 1-1 record with a 4.69 ERA in 15 appearances (13 starts) with Double-A Frisco and 0-0 mark with a 7.00 ERA in two starts with Triple-A Round Rock.
Lutz would be wise to pitch carefully to Amed Rosario, who is batting .409 (18-for-44) during his career-high, 10-game hitting streak. Rosario has seven extra-base hits (four doubles, one triple, two homers) and nine RBIs during that stretch.
Daniel Johnson went deep on Tuesday for his second homer in the last four games. He is 6-for-13 with three RBIs during his four-game hitting streak.
–Field Level Media