After losing a series in Arlington for the first time in more than a month, the Rangers open a three-game set Monday against the Indians, who will be without another one of their top hitters.
Texas (48-33) began a 10-game homestand by dropping two of three to the Chicago White Sox over the weekend, suffering its first series loss in Arlington since losing two of three to the Chicago Cubs from May 21-23.
The Rangers, who lead the AL West by 3 1/2 games, lost 5-3 on Sunday. They batted .202 as a team in the series while scoring three runs in each game.
“We’re not pressing, we’ve just cooled off with the bats and we’re not holding onto a lead when we get it,” said Hamilton, who extended his home hitting streak to 24 games. “We’re leaving some runners on base. Hopefully we can pick things up again.”
The Indians (32-49) may be facing a bigger offensive challenge for the foreseeable future.
Cleveland, which remains at the bottom of the AL Central despite winning six of its last eight, suffered a big loss over the weekend with news that Shin-Soo Choo(notes) could need surgery to repair a sprained right thumb.
Choo, hitting .286 with team highs of 13 homers and 43 RBIs, was placed on the disabled list Sunday.
“I have to go see another doctor Tuesday and there’s a chance I could need surgery,” Choo said before Cleveland’s 3-1 loss to Oakland on Sunday. “If that happens, I can’t help my team and that really bothers me. We were just starting to put it together and get some wins.”
Cleveland totaled six runs and batted .216 while losing two of three at home to the Athletics over the weekend.
Laffey was solid against Toronto on Wednesday in his second start since being recalled from the minors, allowing one run in six innings of a 3-1 victory - his first since Aug. 16.
“Aaron made good pitches when he had to,” manager Manny Acta told the Indians’ official website. “He’s not an overpowering guy, but he threw a lot of strikes.”
Laffey gave up two runs and five hits in 1 2-3 innings of relief against the Rangers on April 14. He is 1-1 with an 8.40 ERA in three starts versus Texas.
Beltre made his major league debut Wednesday, giving up three runs and striking out six in four innings of a 6-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. The right-hander struggled with his control, walking four and throwing 85 pitches.
“I was a little nervous, but I’m just glad we won the game,” Beltre said through a translator.
Texas won two of three games against Cleveland in April, and swept the Indians in three games the last time they visited Arlington, from April 6-9, 2009.