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Rangers-Indians Preview

AP - Sports

After beginning the Texas Rangers' current series having gone hitless in four of his previous five games, Adrian Beltre had another big game at the plate Friday.

Facing the Cleveland Indians pitching staff can have that effect on a lot of hitters.

Beltre and the Rangers continue their series against the woeful Indians on Saturday.

Beltre went on a torrid run in mid-August, hitting .418 with five homers, four doubles and 12 RBIs over a 14-game stretch from Aug. 11-24. However, he went 3 for 17 in five games before Friday, when he broke out of that funk by going 4 for 5 with two doubles, two runs scored and one RBI in Texas' 5-3 win.

He wasn't the only one to have a big night - the AL West-leading Rangers had four of their five hits with runners in scoring position come with two out.

"That was just guys executing in the clutch," manager Ron Washington told the Rangers' official website. "You'd like to get them in before that. You don't want to be relying on two-out hits all the time, but tonight we got them."

The win was the 10th in 13 games for the Rangers (78-53), who opened their 10-game road trip on a positive note.

Continuing to face the reeling Indians (55-77) should help Texas further. Cleveland has lost 15 of 16 and finished August with a 5-24 record, which tied the team record for losses in a month set in July 1914.

The Indians are 1 1/2 games out of last place in the AL Central after they were 3 1/2 games out of first July 27. They have gone 5-28 since, recording a 5.95 ERA - up from a 4.47 mark over the first 99 games.

"It's been the toughest month that I've had in baseball," embattled manager Manny Acta said.

Scott Feldman (6-10, 4.95 ERA) will try to take advantage of the matchup as he seeks to avoid a fifth straight loss Saturday. Feldman surrendered six runs and a season-high 10 hits over 5 2-3 innings of a 6-5 loss to Minnesota last Sunday.

Despite having a 6.45 ERA over his last four starts, Washington said Feldman isn't in danger of losing his spot in the rotation.

"We have no issues with Feldman," said Washington. "He doesn't have to prove anything to us, just do what we want them all to do, and that's keep us in the game."

The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.48 ERA in 10 outings against the Indians, including three starts. His most recent start against them came in 2009.

He probably won't need much help from his offense against this Cleveland lineup, which has scored three or fewer runs in 10 of its last 12 games.

The Indians will try to avoid their seventh straight loss as they send Jeanmar Gomez (4-7, 5.11) to the mound in place of Roberto Hernandez, who sprained his ankle in his last start.

Gomez pitched a scoreless inning of relief on Wednesday in his first appearance since late June. He had been sent down to the minors after going 1-5 with a 7.92 ERA over six starts from May 25-June 23.

However, the right-hander had a respectable outing against the Rangers on May 4, allowing three runs over seven innings of a 6-3 victory.

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