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TEX@CLE: Salazar holds Rangers to one run over six

After two games in Cleveland, the Indians and the Reds will head south down Interstate 71 for a pair of games at Great American Ball Park beginning Wednesday.

The Ohio Cup series is even after the teams split the first two games. Cincinnati won Tuesday night, 9-2.

Looking to bounce back on the road, the Indians will give the ball to Danny Salazar, who seems to have benefited a great deal from the two months he spent in Triple-A. Since his return in mid-July, the 24-year-old righty is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA.

When asked what has changed since his return to the Majors, Salazar said the difference has been his secondary pitches.

"How to mix them with the fastball, where to use it," Salazar said. "And trying to keep everything down."

Cleveland right fielder David Murphy said the club never lost confidence in Salazar, even when he struggled to the tune of a 1-4 record and 5.53 ERA early this season.

"We know exactly the type of stuff that he has," Murphy said. "We know how capable he is. We know how talented he is. It's just a matter of him applying it and being comfortable at the big league level."

Mat Latos, who will oppose Salazar, is unbeaten in three career starts against the Indians, despite a 5.19 ERA in those outings.

The right-hander is coming off a win over Miami in which he repeatedly had to pitch himself out of trouble.

"I battled, that's for sure," Latos said of his seven-inning, one-run effort. "I had to bear down when I needed to and made some good pitches.

Reds: Lutz growing into new role
Since serving as a heart-of-the-order hitter for much of his ascension through the Minor Leagues, infielder Donald Lutz has had to grow accustomed to his new role as an occasional bench bat with the Reds.

Lutz has gone 7-for-36 at the plate this season after batting .241 through 34 games in 2013. As he continues to log more time in the Majors, however, the difficulty of only seeing game action every few days is beginning to wear less on the 25-year-old.

"It's not easy," Lutz said on Tuesday. "What I've learned from last year is you can't get too upset with yourself. Say you get one at-bat and then get a couple days off, you can't sit on that at-bat if it wasn't successful. I remember last year I kind of took that approach of, 'I wish I could get another chance.'

"If you get that one chance, you got to be ready to perform. There's no time to think about, 'Is this right?'"

Indians: Swisher improving
Designated hitter Nick Swisher was out of the starting lineup again on Tuesday due to a sore right wrist. Swisher might be available to play by Wednesday, but Cleveland will not have the use of the DH under National League rules.

That will, however, allow the Indians to ease Swisher back into the mix following the minor injury.

"That's probably sensible," manager Terry Francona said on Tuesday. "I don't know if he'd play tomorrow. We'll see where we are the next day. Some of it will be how he feels and some of it will be situational, depending on what we want to do."

Worth noting
• This is the second year of the current home-and-home, four-game Ohio Cup series. Last year, the clubs split the series, meaning the Tribe maintained possession of the trophy as the most recent winners.

• Only two Reds have faced Salazar -- former Tigers Brayan Pena and Ramon Santiago. They are a combined 1-for-7 off him.

• Cincinnati will unveil the 2015 All-Star logo on Wednesday. Comments