Rangers look to keep home wins coming vs. Indians
The Texas Rangers returned to the Lone Star State and promptly returned to their winning ways.
After scoring all of their runs with two outs in the opener Monday, the Rangers bid to move seven games above .500 for the first time this season on Tuesday when they continue their four-game series against the visiting Cleveland Indians.
Danny Santana struck the first significant blow with a two-run homer in the fourth inning Monday as Texas improved to 25-12 at home following a 7-2 victory over the Indians.
"He did it all today, everything was kind of on display," Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. "I can't say enough about the kid. He's so good for us in so many ways."
Woodward wasn't alone in that assessment of Santana, who started in right field with Nomar Mazara out for the second straight game due to right hamstring tightness.
"He's been one of those guys you don't talk too much about, but he's been one of the key guys," Elvis Andrus said of Santana, who belted his fifth homer of the season.
Andrus provided the next big blow with a two-run double in the fifth inning. He is batting .370 (95-for-257) with eight homers and 39 RBIs in 68 career games against Cleveland.
Former Indian Shin-Soo Choo had an RBI double in the third inning and scored on Andrus' double to extend a few streaks. Choo has scored at least one run in six straight games, collected at least one hit in each of his last four, and produced an RBI in each of his past three.
Texas right-hander Adrian Sampson (5-3, 4.21 ERA), who will get the nod on Tuesday, saw his five-start win streak come to a halt on Thursday after surrendering six runs on seven hits -- including four homers -- in a no-decision at Boston.
Sampson has flourished at home, however, posting a 4-1 mark with a 2.70 ERA in eight appearances (five starts, three in relief).
The 27-year-old has not faced Cleveland in his career, although he has gotten the better of Jake Bauers (0-for-2, one strikeout) in their limited meetings.
Sampson will need to keep an eye on Francisco Lindor, who belted a solo homer among his two hits in the opener. Lindor is riding a six-game hitting streak and has reached base in 20 of his past 22 contests.
Carlos Santana enters Tuesday's contest having hit safely in 12 straight games.
Cleveland rookie right-hander Zach Plesac (1-2, 2.92 ERA) aims to rebound after surrendering three homers and four runs total in 5 1/3 innings of a 7-2 setback to Cincinnati on Wednesday.
Plesac has given up five home runs in his four major league starts. The 24-year-old will be facing Texas for the first time in his young career.
Rookie Oscar Mercado fared well in his first encounter with Texas by belting a solo homer in his last at-bat on Monday.
"It's nice. I kinda told myself to go up there and stick to what you've been doing," Mercado said. "It's unfortunate that it came when the game was pretty (much) out of hand at that point."
--Field Level Media