Rosario leads Indians into opener vs. Rangers

MLB Baseball

Amed Rosario has been one of Major League Baseball’s most consistent hitters since returning from the All-Star break.

Rosario aims to continue his good fortune on Tuesday as the Cleveland Indians host the Texas Rangers in the opener of a three-game series.

The 25-year-old belted a two-run homer in the Indians’ 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday in the Little League Classic at Williamsport, Pa. Rosario has hit safely in 23 of his last 26 games, batting .369 with 15 extra-base hits and 16 RBIs during that stretch.

“He’s had an interesting year in a sense, but I think once he got comfortable, Tito (manager Terry Francona) put him in that 2-slot and just left him there,” Cleveland interim manager DeMarlo Hale said. “I think he’s just gotten comfortable and he’s played the game for a number of years at this level. So, it’s nothing surprising for me, but I think he’s comfortable and he’s playing the game at a certain level that we expect.”

Rosario went 8-for-12 with two homers, four RBIs and five runs scored as the Indians completed an emphatic three-game sweep over the weekend. They outscored the Angels by a 17-2 margin.

Jose Ramirez went 0-for-4 on Sunday after going 13-for-36 with 10 extra-base hits, four homers, 11 RBIs and eight runs scored in his previous eight games.

“It’s good to see him starting to come on again,” Hale said of Ramirez, who leads the team in homers (29) and RBIs (79).

Cleveland will bid for its first four-game winning streak since posting a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles from June 14-17.

Indians rookie right-hander Eli Morgan (2-5, 5.80 ERA) will take the mound on Tuesday looking to feed off an impressive performance in his last start.

Morgan, 25, scattered three hits and struck out eight over six scoreless innings in a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins last Tuesday. The win was his first since June 28, when he recorded his first major league victory.

Morgan has yet to face the Rangers in his career.

Texas enters the series mired in a brutal tailspin, having lost 14 of its last 18 overall and 18 of its last 20 on the road.

The Rangers’ latest loss was a heartbreaker, as they rallied to forge a tie in the ninth and pulled ahead in the 10th before dropping an 8-4 decision in 11 innings against the Boston Red Sox.

Texas was forced to shuffle the deck prior to the game by placing right-handers Drew Anderson and Mike Foltynewicz as well as infielder Brock Holt on the COVID-19 injured list. Third baseman Charlie Culberson was placed on that list Friday.

“We have players who are in the COVID protocols right now,” Rangers general manager Chris Young said. “And certainly, it’s a situation that we’re trying to manage as proactively as we can. That said, we assume this is a Delta variant, and it is strong. So while we have vaccinated players, and several unvaccinated as well, we want to protect everybody just the same.

“We’re going to try to work through the situation as well as we possibly can, and we’ll be prepared to make further roster moves if necessary to field a team for our games in Cleveland and coming home this weekend.”

Rangers left-hander Taylor Hearn (2-4, 3.97) will face the Indians for the first time in his career.

Hearn, 26, yielded two runs on five hits in five innings of a 3-1 setback versus the Seattle Mariners last Tuesday.

–Field Level Media

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