A short memory has perhaps been one of the keys to Derek Lowe's turnaround from one of the worst seasons of his career.
Lowe will try to win a third straight start with another superb outing at home and help the Cleveland Indians match their longest win streak of the year Saturday night against the suddenly scuffling Texas Rangers.
Lowe concluded a three-season stay in Atlanta by losing a career-worst 17 games in 2011 and posting a 5.05 ERA, his worst since a 5.42 mark for Boston in 2004.
A return to the AL has seemed to revive the veteran right-hander, and his latest start was arguably his best one yet. Lowe (4-1, 2.27 ERA) lasted a season-high 7 2-3 innings during a 4-0 win over Los Angeles on Sunday, allowing three hits and two walks to improve to 3-0 with a 0.44 ERA in three home starts.
"I've never let one year roll into the next," Lowe told the team's official website. "You're not out here trying to prove that last year was the way you're going to pitch. It's not in any part of my thought process."
Lowe and the Indians (14-10), winners of three in a row, will try to keep their momentum going against the Rangers (17-9), who have lost a season-high three straight and five of seven.
Josh Hamilton's return from back stiffness wasn't enough to help Texas during a 6-3 loss in Friday's series opener. The AL player of the month for April, who missed three games, went 1 for 4.
Adrian Beltre, out of the starting lineup for the past three games with a sore left hamstring, flew out to end the game during a pinch-hit appearance.
"Hopefully we can get (Beltre) in there tomorrow," manager Ron Washington told the team's official website.
In his return from a sore right knee, Cleveland's Travis Hafner drove in the go-ahead run Friday on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and Johnny Damon hit a two-run triple in the seventh for his first RBIs in three games with the Indians.
"I love my role, which is to still contribute and play, but help my team develop, too," Damon said following his home debut. "It's great to be with a team that's hungry to win, hungry to get to a World Series, ready to go all-out every game. In just a couple days, these young guys have helped give me new life, too."
Texas had won 21 of 25 over Cleveland and 11 of 12 at Progressive Field. The Rangers have lost three in a row on the road after winning nine of their first 10 away from home.
They haven't dropped four straight overall since a five-game skid June 11-16, their longest in 2011.
While seeking to match their four-game win streak from April 13-17, the Indians will try to add to Derek Holland's woes. The left-hander has an 8.31 ERA while losing consecutive starts, and he gave up five runs over seven innings of a 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday night.
Holland (2-2, 5.13) went 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA in three starts against the Indians last season, throwing one of his five career shutouts - a five-hitter - at Progressive Field on June 4.
Lowe is 2-2 with a 4.54 ERA in six starts against the Rangers. He gave up four runs over five innings while not getting a decision in a 5-4 loss in Atlanta on June 18.
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, who has a hit in each of his 24 career games versus Cleveland, is 2 for 3 against Lowe.
- Texas Rangers
- Derek Lowe
- Cleveland Indians