CLEVELAND (AP) — In a lost season, the Texas Rangers keep strugging on the road.
Jerome Williams was roughed up for 10 runs in four-plus innings as the Rangers were beaten once again by the Cleveland Indians in a 12-2 loss Friday night.
It wasn’t a good sign for the start of the Rangers’ nine-game road trip. After starting the season 15-10 on the road, the Rangers have gone 7-23 away from home since May 30, losing 17 of their last 20 road games.
Texas has also lost nine of its last 10 games against Cleveland.
“(Williams) didn’t have his changeup, didn’t really have his breaking ball. And he didn’t command his fastball,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “Got a lot of ground balls, but they were hard-hit and they found holes.”
Williams (2-5), making the start in place of the injured Nick Tepesch, allowed the first five Indians to reach base in the fifth in what would become a six-run inning, highlighted by two-run hits from former Ranger David Murphy and Mike Aviles.
“I didn’t execute and that’s what happens when you don’t execute,” Williams said. “I walked three guys, that’s not me. I don’t walk people, I try and attack. It’s unacceptable.”
Cleveland scored a run in the first and two more runs in both the third and fourth innings. Lonnie Chisenhall added a solo homer in the sixth.
Murphy had four hits against his former club, and Michael Brantley added three hits and two RBIs. Cleveland totaled 16 hits — 13 off Williams.
Murphy played for Texas from 2007-13 before signing a two-year contract with the Indians in November.
Williams allowed just one run in six innings in a 4-1 win against Oakland in his first start with Texas on July 25.
Offense was nonexistent for Texas, as the Rangers managed just four hits off Salazar (4-4), who walked three and struck out four in six innings. The Rangers’ only run off him was unearned in the fifth on a Rougned Odor groundout to score Robinson Chirinos.
With two hits, including a single to score Daniel Robertson in the ninth, Elvis Andrus has now hit safely in 41 of his 42 career games against the Indians.
Right-hander Phil Klein made his major-league debut in the sixth, giving up the homer to Chisenhall, the first batter he faced. He hit Tyler Holt, balked him to second, and gave up a hit to Murphy, but escaped the inning without any more damage.
SO LONG, CESPEDES
With division rival Oakland sending Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox, Washington isn’t lamenting the Rangers now seeing less of the Cuban slugger.
“I feel like Cespedes was the most dangerous hitter they had in that lineup,” Washington said. “I do know one thing. He’s going to tear that wall apart in Boston.”
Rangers: Catcher Geovany Soto began an injury rehabilitation assignment Friday for Triple-A Round Rock. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 22 after straining his right groin. Soto appeared in three games for the Rangers after being activated from a season-long DL stint on July 17 following right knee surgery.
Indians: Left fielder Chris Dickerson was out of the lineup Friday with a sore left knee. He was injured when he awkwardly attempted to catch a ball that fell for a double Thursday. While Dickerson isn’t expected to miss much time, the Indians recalled Holt from Triple-A Columbus.
Rangers right-hander Miles Mikolas will make his sixth career start Saturday. He’s 1-3 with an 8.54 ERA and opponents are batting .315 against him. Left-hander T.J. House will be called up from Triple-A Columbus to make his 10th career start. House, who is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA, has already been with the Indians three times this season.
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