Texas Rangers (43-65) at Cleveland Indians (53-55)
Friday, August 01 - 7:05 PM EST
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
The Cleveland Indians keep hanging around the .500 mark and aim to move closer to the break-even point when they host the Texas Rangers on Friday. A sweep of the three-game set against the struggling Rangers would push Cleveland back above .500 as the Indians continue to stay on the fringe of the wild-card race. Injury ravaged Texas is playing out the string as it possesses the worst record in the majors.
While Cleveland remains in contention, that didn’t stop the franchise from parting ways with shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera prior to Thursday’s trade deadline - sending him to the Washington Nationals for infielder Zach Walters. The Indians recently promoted top prospect Francisco Lindor to Triple-A Columbus and are hoping he will be ready to be the every-day shortstop next season. The Rangers are 22-32 away from home as they begin a nine-game road excursion.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, KTXA (Texas), SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers RH Jerome Williams (2-4, 5.53 ERA) vs. Indians RH Danny Salazar (3-4, 4.96)
Williams pitched well in his Texas debut by limiting Oakland to one run and five hits in six innings. He went 1-4 with a 6.04 ERA in 26 relief appearances with the Houston Astros earlier this season. Williams is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two career starts against Cleveland.
Salazar has won back-to-back starts since being recalled. He gave up three runs and seven hits and struck out as many in seven innings while beating Kansas City in his last turn. Salazar has allowed three earned runs or less in each of his last six major-league starts.
1. Cleveland OF Michael Bourn (hamstring) participated in light running on Thursday but isn't ready to go on a minor-league rehab stint.
2. Texas OF Alex Rios (quadriceps) is expected to be in the lineup after leaving Wednesday’s game against the New York Yankees due to the injury.
3. Indians OF Michael Brantley reached base four times in Thursday’s loss to Seattle and has three two-hit outings in the last five games.
PREDICTION: Indians 6, Rangers 5