The Los Angeles Angels tried to give their playoff hopes a boost by acquiring Zack Greinke last month, but he has yet to earn a win since his return to the AL.
The right-hander will try again for that elusive victory Tuesday night against the Cleveland Indians while helping the Angels avoid their longest losing streak in a little more than three months.
The Angels got Greinke in a four-player deal July 27 after he went 25-9 with a 3.67 ERA over 49 starts with Milwaukee. The former AL Cy Young Award winner, though, has yet to find the same consistency since switching leagues.
Greinke (0-1, 5.68 ERA) gave up two runs over seven innings to Tampa Bay in his Angels debut July 29 but has allowed a combined 10 runs over his last two starts. He gave up four - and a season-high five walks - over five innings during Los Angeles' 9-8 defeat in Oakland on Wednesday.
"The team has played well," Greinke said. "Some of us, including myself, have not pitched up to our standards. We should have won more than we did."
The Angels (60-56) are eight games behind Texas in the AL West but only 2 1/2 back in the wild card race, and might aid their postseason hopes with some better performances from their pitchers, who have posted a 6.30 ERA during a 3-9 stretch.
Los Angeles trailed 3-0 in the early going in Monday's series opener before Albert Pujols' 25th homer got his team within a run. The Indians (54-62) responded with three runs in the ninth en route to a 6-2 win.
That victory ended a 10-game road losing streak for the Indians and helped them improve to 4-2 overall following an 11-game skid.
Greinke hasn't faced the Indians since his final season with AL Central foe Kansas City in 2010. He is 7-8 with a 3.57 ERA in 22 career starts against Cleveland.
In this matchup, Greinke will try to help the Angels avoid their first four-game losing streak since a season-high five-game skid from April 22-27 and a season-high fourth straight defeat at home.
Ubaldo Jimenez (9-11, 5.25) earned one of his team's recent victories, 5-3 over Boston on Thursday, after going 0-4 with an 8.42 ERA over his previous five starts. The right-hander fanned a season-high 10 and gave up three runs over six innings in that win over the Red Sox.
Jimenez, among the AL's leaders with 77 walks this season, issued only one, to the first batter he faced.
"Great job by Ubaldo," manager Manny Acta told the team's website. "That's the most aggressive I've seen him here with his fastball and probably the best command of his fastball that he has shown so far. He was just dotting it to both sides of the plate."
Jimenez, though, has yet to earn a victory over the Angels, going 0-2 with a 4.30 ERA in two career matchups. He allowed three runs over 7 2-3 innings in a 3-0 home loss to Los Angeles on July 2.
In this start, he'll try to get some help from Asdrubal Cabrera, who is 15 for 31 (.484) in his career against Greinke and is batting .321 over his last 20 games.
Pujols is 5 for 17 (.294) with one double and no homers against Jimenez, who spent five-plus seasons in the NL with Colorado.