The Cleveland Indians have been a very streaky team this season.
That’s not a concern as long as they continue to head in their current direction.
Cleveland hopes to match a season-high, five-game win streak when the Texas Rangers visit Jacobs Field for the opener of a two-game series.
Matt Lawton scored on a two-out wild pitch in the ninth inning Sunday, lifting the Indians to a 4-3 victory over Oakland and a sweep of that three-game series.
After his throwing error in the top of the ninth helped Oakland score twice, Omar Vizquel doubled home the tying run in the bottom half.
“We haven’t been scoring too many runs in the late innings,” Vizquel said. “So after the ugly ninth inning we had when I threw the ball away and the runners advanced, I’m glad everybody kept their head in there.”
Cleveland’s current four-game win streak is one shy of the season high set from May 12-17, and comes after it had lost seven in a row. In May alone, the Indians had losing streaks of five and seven games, as well as win streaks of five and four games.
“That’s baseball and that’s why you play a long season,” Lawton said. “You try not to get too down. We’ve had some frustrating losses, but hung in there.”
Designated hitter Travis Hafner, a former Ranger, played a key role in the Indians’ sweep. He was 6-for-7 with four RBIs in the series.
Mired in a season-high, four-game losing streak, the Rangers turned to ace Kenny Rogers on Sunday and he delivered again in a 4-2 victory at Toronto.
Rogers became the first eight-game winner in the majors despite walking seven in 5 1-3 innings.
“It was a magic act for the most part,” Rogers said. “Even when you don’t have your best stuff, you know everybody here believes in you. I can’t overstate how much that means to a pitcher.”
Four different players drove in a run for Texas, which has lost four of six on an 11-game trip that concludes this week with three games at Yankee Stadium.
“People that play the game tend to dwell on the positives,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “Players, coaches and mangers are some of the few people that realize how long the season is and the reality of the ebb and flow to it. It doesn’t mean that you’re comfortable with anything when things aren’t going well.”
Brad Fullmer hit a solo home run Sunday, ending an 0-for-21 skid. It was his first home run and RBI in 11 games.