The Indians close their series against the Rangers on Sunday night, going for back-to-back victories for the first time in nearly three weeks.
After Texas rallied to win 8-7 in 11 innings Friday, forcing extras after Michael Young’s(notes) two-out, two-run homer in the ninth, Cleveland (56-55) had a comeback of its own Saturday and held on to win 7-5.
“It was very important to win this ballgame because the game yesterday was very tough and you don’t want those games to snowball, because those games, at times, if you don’t have some resiliency, it takes a couple of days for the team to recuperate,” Indians manager Manny Acta said.
Acta’s club trailed 4-3 before scoring four runs in the ninth, with Lonnie Chisenhall(notes) driving in the tying run and scoring the go-ahead run on Michael Brantley’s(notes) double. The Indians snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Rangers (63-51).
Cleveland (56-55) now hopes to get on a roll as it tries to make up ground in the AL Central. Since sweeping a doubleheader against Minnesota on July 14, the Indians have gone 5-11 and haven’t won consecutive games.
However, they’ve scored seven runs in each of their last three games after averaging 2.7 in the previous 13. They remain four games behind division-leading Detroit.
“At some point, the offense has to take pride in what they’re doing and put the team on their backs and tonight was one of those nights, where we really locked down in the late innings,” said rookie Jason Kipnis(notes), who hit his fifth homer in seven games Saturday.
Texas will try to bounce back after Neftali Feliz’s(notes) sixth blown save of the season. The Rangers, one game ahead of Los Angeles for the West lead, had won 17 of the previous 20 meetings against Cleveland, although they have lost four of six overall.
Feliz’s blown save was his second in his last five appearances. He only blew three of his 43 save chances last year.
“When you give the ball to your closer, you feel good about the game being over,” manager Ron Washington said. “But there are no guarantees.”
Lewis allowed five runs and a season high-tying 10 hits in four-plus innings of a 6-5 loss to Detroit on Tuesday, although he didn’t factor in the decision.
The right-hander hasn’t faced the Indians since last season, when he went 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA in two starts against them.
Tomlin, winless in his last three starts, has a 5.76 ERA over his last four. He had a 3.00 ERA in the previous five.
The right-hander allowed five runs and 10 hits, including two home runs, over six innings of a 9-6 win over Boston last Monday.
Tomlin will be making his first start against the Rangers.
Lewis has allowed the most homers in the AL with 27, and Tomlin is fourth with 20.