Texas (47-35) at Cleveland (40-43)

Snow Currently: Cleveland, OH
Temp: 28° F
  • Game info: 12:05 pm EDT Thu Jul 8, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Mark Teixeira hopes to lead the explosive Texas Rangers to their fourth win in five games as they close out a four-game set with the Cleveland Indians at Jacobs Field.

Named the AL Player of the Week on Monday, the 24-year-old first baseman could hold the honor for another seven days with his recent play. Teixeira has seven homers and 16 RBIs in his last 10 games, including a two-run shot in the Rangers’ 9-8 win on Wednesday.

“It’s fun hitting in this lineup,” said Teixeira. “Hitting is contagious, and when you’ve got guys swinging like we do, you can get on a pretty good roll.”

In Wednesday’s win, Teixeira connected off Jeriome Robertson, and two batters later, Gary Matthews Jr. hit his off Rick White as Texas improved to 5-5 on a 14-game road trip.

Alfonso Soriano and Brad Fullmer hit solo shots to rally the Rangers from a four-run deficit. Texas leads the majors with 126 home runs.

Soriano’s 16th homer, a two-out shot in the eighth inning, set a single-season club record for a Texas second baseman. Julio Franco hit 15 in 1991. In his last five games, Soriano has four homers and eight RBIs.

At 47-35, the Rangers are off to one of their best starts in franchise history. A year ago at this point, they were 32-50 and 21 games out of first.

“We’ve got 80 games left,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Our guys like being a part of this and they don’t want it to stop.”

While their success this season has been one of baseball’s biggest surprises, the Rangers aren’t stunned by anything they’re doing.

“We’re not surprised,” Teixeira said. “Coming out of spring training, we knew we had a good team, a good lineup, a good bullpen and good starting pitching. We’re playing just like we thought we would.”

The Indians, meanwhile, have dropped four of five and six of nine.

All-star Matt Lawton hit his 15th homer of the season, matching his season home run total from 2003 in just 83 games.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Rodriguez Pit vs. S. Elarton Phi
3-1 Record 3-11
2.03 ERA 5.90
15 K 103
12 BB 62
1.50 WHIP 1.42