Two starting pitchers looking to improve their big league resumes will face off when the Rangers and Indians meet Saturday at Progressive Field.
Texas right-hander Miles Mikolas is in search of some elusive consistency in the sixth start of his career. The longtime reliever, who was converted to a starter this year, beat the Yankees, 4-2, on July 21 by allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But in his next outing against Oakland on Sunday, he allowed eight runs (seven earned) in 4 2/3 innings.
"I'm still learning to make adjustments inning to inning," Mikolas said. "That's something I am working on. It is important to remember what got me here. I was throwing a lot of strikes, getting quick outs and keeping my pitch count down as deep in the game as I could."
Mikolas had been a reliever for the past four years, pitching in 27 games for the Padres from 2012-13. The Rangers acquired him in the offseason and converted him to a starter. After overcoming some Spring Training elbow problems, he went 3-1 ERA with a 3.58 ERA in six starts at Triple-A Round Rock before being called up.
Now Mikolas gets a chance to prove that he can be in a Major League rotation as the Rangers look to 2015.
"A season like this, they want to audition as many players as possible," Mikolas said. "My goal is to go out there and compete and impress them with my outings."
The Indians will counter by recalling left-hander T.J. House from Triple-A Columbus. The club optioned righty Austin Adams to Columbus to make room on the 25-man roster.
House has been pretty steady, if unspectacular, in spot starts this season. In his last three outings, he owns a 4.96 ERA, but he has had some success in the Minor Leagues, going 1-4 with a 3.79 ERA in 10 starts for Columbus.
"T.J.'s actually done a pretty good job," manager Terry Francona said. "We may have some revolving starters. That may happen. We told T.J. that."
Rangers: Adduci may see left-handers
With House pitching Saturday, the question is if the Rangers will start Jim Adduci against him. The Rangers have been using Aducci strictly against right-handed pitching. But the outfielder is also one of the players the Rangers want to evaluate over the final two months of the season, so that may including throwing him in there against some left-handers.
"I will play him against some left-handers, but I will pick them," manager Ron Washington said.
But when a left-hander is on the mound, it's also a chance for Washington to get Daniel Robertson into the game. The rookie outfielder entered Friday hitting .267 through 37 games with the club -- including .341 against lefties.
"He has handled himself extremely well," Washington said. "He'll get a chance to play and show what he can do."
Indians: Dickerson out Friday
Indians left fielder Chris Dickerson was held out of Friday' game against the Rangers with left knee discomfort. He is day to day, according Francona.
Dickerson had to leave the Indians' 6-5 loss to the Mariners on Thursday after he misplayed a Kendrys Morales fly ball, though Francona intimated that Dickerson could return to the lineup Saturday.
"He said it didn't start hurting until he came in, and he said as he got closer to the game [on Thursday], it became worse and worse. I'm sure that [Morales double] didn't help," Francona said. "So he came in, they tried to stretch him and he couldn't get it going. We got him in here early, got him worked on, he'll continue to get treatment."
• When Elvis Andrus singled Friday in the Rangers' 12-2 loss, he extended his hitting streak at the Indians' home park to 23 games. That's the longest hitting streak at Progressive Field by any player.
• Right-hander Shaun Marcum (shoulder surgery) began a rehab stint with the Arizona League Indians on Friday.
Adam Lewis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.