Texas (45-34) at Cleveland (39-41)

Cloudy Currently: Cleveland, OH
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Mon Jul 5, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Kenny Rogers will try to become the majors’ first 12-game winner when he takes the mound for the Texas Rangers in the opener of their four-game series with the Cleveland Indians.

Rogers allowed three earned runs and six hits over five innings in Wednesday’s 9-6 win over Seattle to become the first pitcher in the league to earn his 11th win. Boston’s Curt Schilling, Philadelphia’s Eric Milton and Oakland’s Mark Mulder have since won their 11th.

“I’m happy with it,” Rogers said. “You don’t really know what to expect in any given year. I’ve had years when I pitched just as well, and had six at this time, or whatever.

“Right now, everybody is playing great. Today, they picked me up. The last start, I probably picked them up. That’s what makes for a good ballclub.”

The 39-year-old left-hander has won a career high-tying seven straight decisions, the longest such streak by a Texas pitcher since 1999, and is one of just eight pitchers in franchise history to post 11 wins before the All-Star break.

Rogers has posted a 3.66 ERA in 10 starts during his winning streak and is 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA over his last four outings.

“Kenny gave us a chance to win,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday. “That’s what he does.”

Rogers will face C.C. Sabathia, who is returning from a mild shoulder injury. He left his start on June 26 against Colorado after one scoreless inning with a sore left shoulder and missed one start.

“I was told by doctors I just had a loose arm,” he said. “It’s hard to strengthen your arm during the season, because you throw too much. But I feel good.”

Sabathia has won a season-high three straight decisions, and the Indians have won the last five times he has started.

The Indians lost 5-4 to Cincinnati on Sunday for their fourth defeat in six games.

Third baseman Casey Blake, who has a team-high 13 errors, made a bad throw to first in the eighth inning that allowed the game-tying run to score.

Matt Lawton hit his second solo homer in two days for Cleveland.

The Rangers pounded Houston’s Andy Pettitte in an 18-3 win on Sunday, which snapped their three-game losing streak.

Mark Teixeira, who homered twice, and Hank Blalock became the first players in team history to hit grand slams in the same game since the Rangers moved to Texas from Washington in 1972. Kevin Mench added a career-high four hits, including two homers, and Alfonso Soriano added a two-run shot.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Rogers Det vs. C. Sabathia NYY
18-9 Record 11-10
4.76 ERA 4.12
126 K 139
66 BB 72
1.48 WHIP 1.32