The 26-year-old right-hander hopes to keep confirming his manager’s faith as the Rangers continue a three-game series with the Cleveland Indians at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Benoit became the only regular Texas starter to climb above the .500 mark at 6-5 Monday, allowing two hits over seven scoreless innings in a 10-1 rout of Seattle. Benoit, who flirted with a no-hitter until allowing a single in the sixth inning, struck out seven and walked two en route to his third victory in four decisions.
“Tonight’s a good example of why we keep thinking and keep hoping that he might be a consistent pitcher for us,” Showalter said. “He certainly shows flashes like this. That was more than a flash tonight.”
Benoit, who was pitching on three days’ rest for the first time in his two-year career, said he was aware of the no-hit bid.
“It was something that probably was in the back of my mind, but I usually get in trouble when I’m thinking about what’s going to happen,” he said.
The Rangers powered their way to a 10-3 victory in Friday’s series opener, hitting a team record-tying seven homers. Mark Teixeira and Todd Greene each homered twice and Rafael Palmeiro and Alex Rodriguez hit one apiece as Texas belted seven for the third time in club history, and for the first time since Sept. 21, 1998, against Minnesota.
The seven home runs allowed by the Indians also tied a club record. The Milwaukee Brewers hit seven against Cleveland on April 29, 1980.
Ben Broussard homered for the Indians, who have lost three of four.
The Rangers have won three straight and five of six.
STANDINGS (through July 31): Indians - 4th place, 13 GB, AL Central. Rangers - 4th place, 21 GB, AL West.
INDIANS PROBABLE STARTER: Jason Davis (7-8, 4.52 ERA). Davis went nine innings for the second time this season Sunday, allowing two runs and 10 hits, but the Indians needed 14 innings to pull out a 3-2 win over Minnesota. The rookie right-hander is winless in five starts dating to a 3-1 win over Cincinnati on June 29. He made his first major league appearance on May 2 against Texas, allowing two earned runs and four hits over four innings in the Rangers’ 6-5 win.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Benoit (6-5, 5.10 ERA). Benoit is 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two career appearances, including one start, against the Indians.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Indians - Milton Bradley, .327 avg., 51 RBIs, 57 runs and 16 SBs; Matt Lawton, 15 HRs. Rangers - Michael Young and Hank Blalock, .317 avg.; Rodriguez, 26 HRs, 79 runs and 12 SBs.; Rodriguez and Palmeiro, 71 RBIs.
SEASON SERIES: Indians, 4-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Indians - Cleveland has lost nine of its last 10 on the road. … RHP Davis is 4-5 with a 5.52 ERA in 10 road starts this year. … OF Jody Gerut is riding a nine-game hitting streak. Rangers - 1B Teixeira’s 17 homers this season are the most by a Texas rookie since Pete Incaviglia hit 30 in 1986. … The Rangers are trying to win four in a row for the first time since July 6-10. … RHP Benoit is 3-2 with a 5.09 ERA in eight appearances, including six starts, at home this season.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Indians - 20-37 on the road; Rangers - 27-29 at home.
INJURIES: Indians - INF Ricky Gutierrez (back), 15-day DL; SS Omar Vizquel (knee), 15-day DL; OF Lawton (finger), 15-day DL; OF Ellis Burks (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Jason Bere (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Dave Elder (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Bob Wickman (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Mark Wohlers (elbow), 60-day DL. Rangers - OF Juan Gonzalez (calf), 15-day DL; OF Kevin Mench (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (rib), 15-day DL; RHP Ricardo Rodriguez (hip), 15-day DL; RHP Ismael Valdes (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL.