Cleveland (59-67) at Texas (63-65)

Sunny Currently: Arlington, TX
Temp: 88° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Fri Aug 22, 2008
  • TV: STO, FSSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Cleveland Indians have put together another winning streak, and red-hot Grady Sizemore is playing a big role.

Coming off perhaps the best game of his career, the center fielder will try to help the Indians win their fifth in a row Friday night when they open a three-game series against the Texas Rangers.

Sizemore is 8-for-17 with two homers and 11 RBIs during the Indians’ four-game winning streak. He went 4-for-5 with a three-run homer and a career-high seven RBIs to power Thursday’s 10-3 victory over Kansas City.

The All-Star’s offensive outburst has come after he hit .151 (8-for-53) with five RBIs in the previous 14 contests.

“Every day is different,” Sizemore said. “I feel good and I’m seeing the ball well.”

Cleveland (59-67) is in position to win a season-high fifth consecutive game for the third time this year. The Indians first won five straight from April 22-26, but didn’t do so again until Aug. 8-12.

Cleveland has won 10 of its last 13, batting .292 with 16 homers and 77 runs during that span. The Indians are near the bottom of the AL with a .257 average on the year.

That hasn’t been the fault of Sizemore, who’s batting .267 with a career high 29 homers and 79 RBIs - two shy of his personal best set in 2005.

He’ll try to continue his surge at hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark. While he’s batted just .244 there in his career, Sizemore has seven home runs in 78 at-bats at the stadium.

The Indians will give the ball to Fausto Carmona (5-5, 4.71 ERA), who looks to win for the first time in four outings.

The right-hander is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in his last three starts. He allowed four runs - two earned - and six hits with three walks, a hit batter and two wild pitches in seven innings Saturday, while his teammates committed four errors in a 4-3 loss to Los Angeles.

“I was under control on the mound,” Carmona said through first-base coach and interpreter Luis Rivera on the Indians’ official Web site. “I stayed back and was getting ahead of the hitters. I wasn’t trying to make the ball move, I was just trying to throw the ball and let it move by itself.”

Carmona lasted just two innings against the Rangers (63-65) on May 23, giving up six runs and five hits with three walks in a 13-9 home loss. He’s 1-3 with a 5.56 ERA in four starts against them, his lone win coming in his only game at Arlington on July 20, 2007.

The Rangers have dropped 11 of their last 14, but are coming off a season high-tying six-homer performance in Wednesday’s 9-1 win over Detroit.

Josh Hamilton hit one of the home runs Wednesday and is batting .341 (14-for-41) with two homers and seven RBIs over his last 10 games. Hamilton ranks among the AL leaders with 29 home runs and tops the majors with 115 RBIs.

The center fielder has two homers and five RBIs in seven games against Cleveland this season.

Texas will give the ball to Matt Harrison (5-2, 5.77), who’s 3-0 with a 3.72 ERA in his last three starts. The rookie left-hander, recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma on July 8, turned 23 on Saturday and had his best performance of the season in a 3-0 win over Tampa Bay. He held the AL East-leading Rays to three hits while striking out a season-high eight in eight innings.

“He showed what his upside can be,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Hernández Phi vs. M. Harrison Tex
8-7 Record 9-3
5.44 ERA 5.49
58 K 42
70 BB 31
1.62 WHIP 1.57

Scoreboard

Friday, Aug 22