Fri, 22 Sep 2023

Clinging to postseason hopes, Guardians face Rangers next

Field Level Media
15 Sep 2023, 15:19 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports)

Lucas Giolito will look to snap a five-start losing streak on Friday when the host Cleveland Guardians open a three-game series against the surging Texas Rangers.

Giolito (7-13, 4.89 ERA) has surrendered three homers in each of his past three starts -- the past two games since joining Cleveland -- and five times in his past 10 outings overall. The right-hander, whom the Guardians claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 31, allowed four runs on four hits over seven innings in a 6-2 setback to the Angels on Saturday.

"Unfortunately, my mistakes continue to get punished pretty severely with the home runs," said Giolito, who is 1-8 with an 8.06 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break. "Just got to tune up the fastball command. I think that will really help as far as limiting the damage."

Giolito, 29, surrendered one homer and four runs on seven hits in six innings during a 7-3 loss to the Rangers on Aug. 15. He is 3-1 with a 3.95 ERA in five career appearances, all starts, against Texas.

The Guardians (69-78) fell for the eighth time in 11 games when they lost 6-5 in 10 innings to the host San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. Cleveland resides eight games back the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins (77-70) with 15 to play on the season. The Twins' magic number to clinch the division is eight.

Jose Ramirez belted a two-run homer in the first inning on Wednesday to continue his stellar play during the Guardians' seven-game road trip. The five-time All-Star added a double and finished the trek 12-for-29 (.414) with two homers, three RBIs and four runs.

Ramirez, however, went just 2-for-13 with a pair of singles as Cleveland was swept in a three-game series from July 14-16 in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers outscored the Guardians by a 20-9 margin in that set.

More recently, Texas (82-64) has bounced back from losing 16 of 20 games by winning six in a row to move within a half-game of the AL West-leading Houston Astros (83-64).

The Rangers, who defeated the host Toronto Blue Jays 9-2 on Thursday to complete a four-game sweep, are clinging to a one-game lead over the division-rival Seattle Mariners (81-65) for the second AL wild-card spot.

"We got really a good performance out of all of our starters this week, the bullpen was great, and we scored a lot, so that's a pretty good recipe for us," Nathaniel Lowe told Bally Sports Southwest on Thursday after Texas secured its first winning season since 2016.

Corey Seager belted a solo homer among his three hits and drove in three runs on Thursday. He is 11-for-22 with two homers, six RBIs and nine runs during a five-game hitting streak.

Seager went 4-for-10 with two doubles, a homer, two RBIs and three runs in the previous series vs. Cleveland.

Texas right-hander Jon Gray (8-7, 3.96 ERA) is slated to get the start on Friday.

Gray, 31, emerged with his third straight no-decision on Sunday despite yielding four runs (three earned) on four hits in 2 2/3 innings against the Oakland Athletics.

He allowed four runs in six innings during a no-decision against Cleveland on July 14. Gray is 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA in three career appearances, all starts, vs. the Guardians.

--Field Level Media

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