Texas (46-34) at Cleveland (39-42)

Cloudy Currently: Cleveland, OH
Temp: 50° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Tue Jul 6, 2004
  • TV: FSSW, FSOH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Alfonso Soriano hopes to lead the Texas Rangers to their eighth straight win over the Cleveland Indians as they continue their four-game set at Jacobs Field.

The Rangers, who have won seven straight against the Indians going back to May 2003, have won three in a row overall.

Soriano, the Rangers’ All-star second baseman acquired from the Yankees in the Alex Rodriguez deal, has helped transform the Rangers from a last-place team to a contender.

A key component to one of the top young infields in the majors, Soriano has homered in three straight games. He is tied with Julio Franco for the club record for most homers in a season by a second baseman, a mark set in 1991. Soriano has 15 homers and driven in 51 runs this season.

In the Rangers 8-5 win in the series opener on Monday, Soriano hit a two-run homer and veteran left-hander Kenny Rogers overcame a badly pulled right hamstring to become the first 12-game winner in the majors.

Soriano isn’t the only Ranger to excel lately. In Monday’s win, Mark Teixeira had two RBIs and scored three times, one day after going 3-for-5 with two homers and six RBIs in an 18-3 win over Houston.

The Indians, meanwhile, have dropped three straight and five of seven. Despite being three games below .500, the Indians are just five games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins in the AL Central.

In Monday’s loss, starter C.C. Sabathia last just three innings, allowing six runs on eight hits.

“Everything I was throwing was belt high,” said Sabathia, who dropped to 5-1 against Texas. “I had six or seven guys 0-1 and 1-2, and then threw balls down the middle.”

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Starting Pitchers

N. Bierbrodt Bal vs. C. Lee Phi
1-1 Record 14-8
5.82 ERA 5.43
10 K 161
19 BB 81
1.94 WHIP 1.50