Cleveland (70-83) at Texas (78-76)

  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Sat Sep 23, 2006
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Vicente Padilla is playing for a new contract. Setting a new career-high in wins certainly couldn’t hurt his cause.

The right-hander takes the mound for the Texas Rangers on Saturday in the middle game of a three-game set against the Cleveland Indians at Ameriquest Field.

Padilla (14-9, 4.27 ERA) threw 7 1-3 shutout innings, scattering seven hits and striking out four in an 8-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.

In doing so he tied his career-best in wins, set in 2002 with Philadelphia and matched in 2003.

Padilla is 1-1 with a 7.94 ERA in two starts against the Indians this season, but was tagged for six runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings oin his last outing against them, a 7-2 loss on Sept. 1.

He is eligible for free agency after this season.

The Nicaragua native—who leads the AL with 17 hit batters—has shown some poise lately, hitting only one batter in his last five starts. He is 2-1 with a 3.78 ERA in that span, but has only received more than three runs of support in two of the contests.

He hopes that will change Saturday, after the Rangers (78-76) routed the Indians 12-4 on Friday.

“Even though we’re not in the race, we want to help each other out,” Rangers shortstop Michael Young said. “The best way to do that is to win as many games as we can.”

Young and Mark Teixeira each drove in four runs Friday, while Gary Matthews Jr. scored three times and the trio set milestones in the process.

Young matched his career high of 98 RBIs, while Teixeira reached the 100 RBI mark for his third consecutive season after setting a major league record for a switch-hitter last year with 144.

“If you play an entire season, you stay healthy, at the end of the year you’re going to put up numbers,” said Teixeira, who is second in the AL with 20 homers since the All-Star break.

“I think 100 RBIs is one of those statistical points you look at and say, `OK, this is what I want to get to at least.”’

Matthews is hoping to snap the team’s single-season runs mark (101) for a leadoff hitter, set by Oddibe McDowell in 1986.

The Indians (70-83) hope to avoid a five-game losing streak as they give Brian Slocum (0-0, 10.57) his first major league start.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Slocum said. “I’m going to try to be aggressive and keep the ball down.”

The 25-year-old right-hander has six relief appearances this season—his first in the majors.

He was called up on Sept. 5 from Triple-A Buffalo, but has struggled allowing five runs and 10 hits—two homers—in three innings for a 15.00 ERA.

Slocum has faced the Rangers once this season, striking out one with one walk in one inning of relief in a 7-5 loss on April 29.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Slocum PIT vs. V. Padilla BOS
0-0 Record 15-10
5.60 ERA 4.50
11 K 156
9 BB 70
2.04 WHIP 1.38


Saturday, Sep 23