Texas (13-15) at Cleveland (7-20)

Fair Currently: Cleveland, OH
Temp: 19° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri May 2, 2003
  • TV: KDFI
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Off to their worst start in almost 25 years, the Cleveland Indians will try to snap an eight-game losing streak as they open up a three-game series against the visiting Texas Rangers.

Cleveland had its worst April record since it went 2-15 in 1969.

“It hasn’t been fun,” designated hitter Ellis Burks said. “No one likes to lose.”

The Indians are hitting .075 (3-for-40) with runners in scoring position during their losing streak. Cleveland has scored 91 runs, only the hapless Detroit Tigers have scored less.

“We have to start scoring runs,” Omar Vizquel said. “We have young guys struggling and we have to learn from that.”

The finale of the Indian’s three-game series with the Anaheim Angels was postponed due to rain on Thursday. Manager Eric Wedge said he’ll simply move his rotation back one day with rookie Jason Davis starting the opener against Texas.

Wedge hoped a night away from the ballpark will benefit his young club, which has dropped 12 of 14.

“It’s a new month,” he said. “We went through a lot and we learned from it. Now it’s time to take the next step.”

The Indians could have a hard time taking a step forward against Texas’ strong-hitting lineup.

The Rangers finished April on an offensive tear and their hitting seems to have followed them into May. Texas got four home runs, including two by Juan Gonzalez, but it wasn’t enough as the Rangers lost 7-6 at Toronto in the series finale on Thursday.

Carl Everett added his 10th home run and Rafael Palmeiro hit the 498th of his career.

“We know we can put a lot of runs on the board,” Texas second baseman Michael Young said. “Rafael is just incredible. He’s finally starting to get the accolades. He’s a Hall of Famer.”

Texas pounded Toronto’s pitching for 12 home runs, 46 hits and 33 runs in the three-game series.

“Our lineup is just scary,” said Rangers starter Colby Lewis said. “As we’ve seen in the last three games, we’re going to put up runs.”

STANDINGS: Rangers - 3rd Place (tied), 4 GB, AL West. Indians - 4th Place, 11 1/2 GB, AL Central.

RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Eresmo Ramirez (0-0, 0.00). Ramirez will be making his first career start. The 26-year-old lefty issued a walk and struck out the only other batter he faced in his first career appearance, Wednesday’s 11-3 win over Toronto.

INDIANS PROBABLE STARTER: Davis (2-3, 6.67 ERA). Davis has struggled, allowing at least three runs in each of his five starts this season. He allowed 10 hits and four runs in Friday’s 5-2 loss to Oakland.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rangers - Hank Blalock, .391 avg.; Carl Everett and Juan Gonzalez, 10 HRs; Gonzalez, 25 RBIs; Everett, 25 runs; Alex Rodriguez, 3 SBs. Indians - Milton Bradley, .375 avg. and 16 runs; Karim Garcia, 5 HRs; Ellis Burks, 14 RBIs; Brandon Phillips and Matt Lawton, 2 SBs.

2002 SEASON SERIES: Rangers, 5-4.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Rangers - OF Gonzalez has three multihomer games this season and 46 for his career. He’s tied with Ken Griffey Jr., Harmon Killebrew and Mickey Mantle for 11th on the all-time list. … DH Palmeiro needs two home runs to become the 19th player with 500 or more career homers. … OF Gonzalez has six homers and 19 RBIs in his last nine games. Indians - Cleveland hadn’t lost eight in a row since Aug. 27-Sept. 3, 1990. The Indians last lost nine straight in 1979. … Cleveland will honor Ohio State’s national championship football team Saturday. … Indians SS Omar Vizquel needs one steal to tie Terry Turner (254) for second on the club’s career list. Kenny Lofton stole 450 bases for Cleveland.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 5-7 on the road; Indians - 3-9 at home.

INJURIES: Rangers - C Todd Greene (hamstring), 15-day DL; IF Herbert Perry (knee), 15-day DL; OF Doug Glanville (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (back), 15-day DL; RHP Jay Powell (vertigo), 15-day DL; RHP Ismael Valdes (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Van Poppel (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL. Indians - OF Milton Bradley (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Jason Bere (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Cliff Lee (abdominal), 60-day DL; RHP Bob Wickman (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Mark Wohlers (elbow), 60-day DL; IF Ricky Gutierrez (neck), 60-day DL.

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8-5 Record 8-11
5.49 ERA 4.68
87 K 85
51 BB 47
1.43 WHIP 1.32