Texas Rangers pitcher Nick Tepesch.
This is not how the Texas Rangers wanted to start their longest homestand of the season.
Or play during the most consecutive games on their schedule.
Rookie right-hander Nick Tepesch allowed five runs in five innings and the Rangers lost 5-2 loss Wednesday night to the Cleveland Indians, who had lost eight in a row before winning consecutive games to clinch the three-game series.
"You're going to have moments where you fail as a team, you're going to have moments where you fail individually, and the key is to just minimize the valleys," David Murphy said. " Right now, it's just not happening for us."
The series against the Indians opened an 11-game homestand for Texas. It is also part of 20 games in 20 days -- and the Rangers are 3-6 heading into the midpoint of that Thursday, when they open a four-game against the Blue Jays, who took two of three from them in Toronto last weekend.
On the other side, Jason Kipnis and the Indians felt a lot better heading home for a day off after what was still a miserable trip overall. Kipnis had a home run among his three hits.
"Definitely a good way to end this trip that did not start the way we wanted it to," Kipnis said. "It takes a little pressure off. You get a happy flight home, you get a day off, you get a little momentum on your side, you get to go home for a long homestand. I think everybody is ready to go home even more so now."
The Indians hit the road after an 11-3 loss at home to Tampa Bay on June 2. They were then swept in three-game series at the New York Yankees and Detroit before losing the opener at Texas.
Now they get a day off Thursday before playing Washington on Friday to start a nine-game homestand.
"We went through a pretty bad stretch there," manager Terry Francona said. "We played well tonight, and we'll have a much-needed day off."
Mike Aviles also homered for Cleveland (32-33) which also won 5-2 on Tuesday after losing the series opener 6-3. The Indians start a nine-game homestand Friday against Washington.
The Indians had lost 12 games in a row away from home before winning in Texas. They had gone 0-4-1 in road series since taking two of three May 10-12 in an early series at Detroit, the only American League team with a better home record than the Rangers (19-10).
Ubaldo Jimenez (5-4) allowed one run pitching into the sixth, and five relievers finished it out for the Indians.
Tepesch (3-6) had five strikeouts, but hasn't won in a month.
"It's just when he got the ball out over the plate, they were putting some good swings on it, not missing," manager Ron Washington said. " I thought he was sinking the ball extremely well, but when it didn't sink, they put some good swings on it. `'
The Indians went ahead to stay with two outs in the second when Jason Giambi was hit by a pitch and Aviles homered, his fourth this season, for a 2-0 lead.
An inning later, Michael Bourn had a leadoff infield hit and scored on Michael Brantley's single.
Leonys Martin scored both runs for Texas. He led off the third with his third homer, and reached on an infield single in the ninth before scoring on Jurickson's Profar's double.
Bourn also started the game with a single, but ended the first when he was thrown out trying to score on Brantley's two-out hit. Murphy threw a strike to catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who held on through the collision at the plate. It was Murphy's third outfield assistant his last eight games.
But like so many of his teammates, Murphy is scuffling at the plate -- with only four hits his last 34 at-bats after going 0 for 5. The Rangers are hitting only .221 as a team in their 11 June games.
"Definitely struggling," Murphy said. "It happens to every team at some point each year, but obviously, it's definitely something we need to turn around as soon as possible."
Notes: Vinnie Pestano pitched the ninth for Cleveland, and needed 15 pitches to get out leadoff hitter Jeff Baker on a disputed play at first base. ... Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler, out since May 18 because of bruised ribs and then a stress reaction in the same area on his right side, is scheduled to start a rehab assignment Thursday at Double-A Frisco. He will DH the first game, then play at least two games in the field. ... Texas LHP Michael Kirkman (recurrence of lymphoma) was transferred from the 15-day to 60-day disabled list. ... The Rangers have signed their top 10 picks from last week's drafter after coming to a deal with their third-round draft pick, RHP David Ledbetter.