Unfortunately for the Indians, their current nine-game road trip through New York, Detroit and Texas hasn't gone well.
After sweeps at the hands of the Yankees and Tigers, the Indians snapped an eight-game losing streak on Tuesday night with a 5-2 win over the Rangers. However, they've dropped 14 of their last 19 games and fallen off the pace in the American League Central after leading the division by 2 1/2 games on May 20.
The Indians will try to exit this early-June gauntlet of contenders on a positive note in Wednesday night's series finale in Arlington, where the Rangers will start a rookie right-hander looking to snap a winless slump of his own.
Right-hander Nick Tepesch will make his 12th career start exactly one month removed from his last victory, a 12-7 win over the Astros on May 12 in which the Texas offense staked him to an 11-run lead. Since then, while his numbers have remained solid, Tepesch has been the victim of poor run support and seen his effectiveness taper off after his first time through the batting order.
While Tepesch is holding opponents to a .156 batting average the first time through the order, teams have hit .222 off him the second time through and .394 their third time through. The Blue Jays made the necessary adjustments during a four-run sixth inning that doomed his last outing, a 6-1 loss in Toronto on Friday.
"I've seen them twice before that and depending on how deep they go into the at-bat, they may have seen every pitch you have," Tepesch said. "That gives them an advantage if they can go deeper into at-bats and see all your pitches. For me, it's trying to get ahead and put the ball in play and let my defense work."
Ubaldo Jimenez will take the mound for the Indians looking to put his most recent start behind him. The right-hander did not make it out of the fourth inning in Cleveland's 7-5 loss on Friday night in Detroit.
"In the first inning, I felt really good," Jimenez said after Friday's loss. "In the second inning, everything was going the other way. I threw too many pitches in that inning and after that, I was kind of fatigued."
Only the Marlins have lost more games away from home than the Indians, who saw their road record improve to 13-21 with Tuesday night's win.
Indians: Swisher turning it around at the plate
Nick Swisher snapped out of an 0-for-26 slump with a single in the sixth inning of Sunday's loss in Detroit and has followed that with hits in each of his team's first two games in Texas, his first three-game hitting streak since May 18-20. The Indians are 6-15 this season in games where Swisher is held hitless.
• Right-hander Corey Kluber turned in his longest outing of the season on Tuesday, holding the Texas offense to one run on six hits over eight innings to pick up the win. The Indians are now 4-7 in games in which Kluber starts this season.
Rangers: Beltre stumbling at home
After returning from a left hamstring injury on June 5, Adrian Beltre went 8-for-24 (.333) at the plate with three home runs over the final five games of the Rangers' road trip. Since returning home for the Cleveland series, Beltre is 0-for-7.
• Rangers manager Ron Washington said that Leonys Martin's left-handed bat should return to the starting lineup on Wednesday with the right-handed Jimenez on the mound for the Indians. Martin was "under the weather" on Monday, according to Washington, and he entered Tuesday night's game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning.
• Both teams cancelled batting practice before Tuesday's game due to a sinkhole caused by an underground pipe that burst behind the pitcher's mound.
• Jimenez went 1-2 with a 3.06 ERA in three starts against Texas last year.
Eric Single is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.