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08/22/08 9:09 PM ET
Putting an end to road woes
On six-game road trip, Tribe aims to improve record
By Shawn Shroyer / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- In compiling a 59-67 record entering Friday, Cleveland has struggled primarily on the road. The Indians are 23-38 on the road this season, compared to their 36-29 home record. Since May 8, the Tribe is 15-32 on the road and has lost 16 of its last 24 road games. However, since the All-Star break, Cleveland is 8-7 away from Progressive Field. Manager Eric Wedge doesn't put much stock in those numbers, but says his team's road record has improved along with his players. "I don't think of it as home or road," Wedge said. "We've just been playing better baseball. We have younger guys playing significant time for us and they're starting to adjust to this level." Whatever the reason, the trend could continue at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, where the Indians scored 39 runs in four games earlier in the season. Back then, the Cleveland bats came to Texas cold, averaging just over three runs per game in 20 games leading up to the series with Texas. This time around, the Cleveland offense returns to Texas in the zone. The Indians put up 27 runs in a three-game series against the Royals before hitting the road. Ryan Garko said the team knew it was just a matter of time before it would start hitting. "[Rangers Ballpark] is a good place to hit," Garko said. "I think the last time it'd just been so cold everywhere we played, a warmer climate really helped us out. We were pretty confident that as soon as the weather got warmer, our hitting would follow." If Cleveland can continue to find success on this six-game road trip, it may find itself sniffing .500 again. And the Indians finish their road trip with three games against the Tigers, who Cleveland trails by 2 1/2 games for third place in the American League Central. "It'd be significant considering where we're coming from, where we've been. But we can't get too far ahead of ourselves," Wedge said. "You always want to finish as high as you can. We're playing for this year, right now."
Shawn Shroyer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.