clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Time To Check The Investment: Ubaldo Jimenez Makes Tribe Debut Friday In Texas

The Indians head to Texas looking to avenge a four-game sweep in Cleveland

*** Preview via SB Nation and Sports Network ***

(Sports Network) - Ubaldo Jimenez makes his American League debut tonight when the Cleveland Indians open a three-game set against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

"I'm ready for it," Jimenez said. "I know it's difficult, because you're going to have to face nine guys instead of eight and a pitcher. It's probably a little bit different. But at the same time, if you think about it, you don't have to be hitting. You don't have to be running the bases and thinking about doing so many things you have to do as a pitcher in the National League. You only have to focus on pitching here."

Jimenez, acquired from Colorado last weekend, started last year's All-Star Game for the National League en route to a career-high 19 wins. But, the hard- throwing right-hander has had trouble duplicating that success this season, as he was just 6-9 with a 4.46 earned run average.

Informed of a pending deal prior to his start last Saturday against San Diego, Jimenez's final appearance with the Rockies was one he would like to forget, as he allowed four runs in just one inning of work.

"I was a little surprised," Jimenez told reporters after the game. "Even before the game, everybody knew it, even me. I wasn't sure if I had to stretch, warm up or anything like that."

This will be his first-ever start against the Rangers, who will send red-hot left-hander Derek Holland to the hill. Holland tossed his fourth shutout of the season on Saturday in Toronto, as he scattered four hits and struck out five to beat the Blue Jays.

"You could tell from the get-go that Holland was on his game, and we had to get him some runs," Mitch Moreland said. "To be able to give him a couple early was nice, and he cruised the rest of the way."

Holland, who is one behind Philadelphia's Cliff Lee for the major league lead in shutouts, is the first Rangers pitcher to throw four in a season since George "Doc" Medich in 1981. The club record is six, set by Ferguson Jenkins in '74 and tied by Bert Blyleven two years later.

"I just have to continue to take it one pitch at a time, show no fear and go after hitters," said Holland. "My defense will make the plays. I give them all the credit for the success I've had."

After giving up five runs in just two-thirds of an inning against the Marlins back on July 2, Holland has gone 4-0 in five starts since, while pitching to a 1.64 ERA. And all seven runs he has allowed in that 38 1/3 inning span came in one outing, a no-decision against the Angels on July 20.

Cleveland knows full well how impressive Holland has been, as he tossed a five-hit shutout against the club back on June 4.

The Indians enter this series on the heels of splitting a four-game set with the Boston Red Sox. Cleveland won Thursday's finale at Fenway, as Carlos Santana clubbed a two-run homer and Justin Masterson pitched six effective innings, helping the Tribe to a 7-3 triumph.

Masterson (9-7) limited his former team to three runs on five hits with nine strikeouts and one walk.

"It was a random mix of everything," Masterson said of his pitch selection. "There's nothing overly consistent about anything."

Texas, meanwhile, snapped a three-game losing streak on Thursday, as Michael Young had two hits, including an RBI triple to help the Rangers beat the Tigers 5-2.

Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz also had two hits while Alexi Ogando pitched 6 1/3 innings, helping Texas win for only the third time in its last nine games. The Rangers, though, still hold a slight one-game edge on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the AL West.

Ogando (11-5) came out after giving up back-to-back RBI singles to Wilson Betemit and Ryan Raburn in the seventh inning, but Darren Oliver and new acquisition Koji Uehara pitched the Rangers out of trouble.

Four of the eight hits Ogando allowed came in the seventh. The 27-year-old right-hander snapped a personal two-game losing streak, throwing 69 of his 97 pitches for strikes and reaching the high 90s with his fastball.

"He was just too good for us today," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

Texas has won all four of its matchups with the Indians this season and is 16-3 against them since the start of the 2009 campaign.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.