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Rapid Reaction: Rangers 2, Indians 0

6/5/2011

The Rangers swept the Indians with a 2-0 victory on Sunday. C.J. Wilson was masterful and solo homers from Elvis Andrus and Mitch Moreland were enough offense. The Rangers were 6-1 on the trip and had back-to-back shutouts in doing it. Some quick reaction from today's game:

* The win means the Rangers go to eight games above .500 for the first time since they were 9-1 to start the season right before Hamilton got hurt.

* Texas outscored the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians, 42-16 in the seven games.

* C.J. Wilson kept the streak of excellent starts going for the Rangers. He pitched 7 2/3 innings and gave up just three hits with 7 strikeouts and two walks. He was efficient too. Wilson threw 93 pitches through seven innings, an average of just over 13 per inning. He needed 11 pitches to get the two outs in the eighth. Wilson had good location, changed speeds well and avoided any kind of trouble with quick outs. When he did make a mistake -- like a changeup up in the zone to Carlos Santana in the seventh -- he was able to bear down and get through it. He had to do it in a close game as the Rangers scored two runs (both on solo shots).

* Wilson had the changeup, curve, sinker and cutter going on Sunday, throwing them all in various counts. Once again, he showed he's a workhorse, throwing more than 100 pitches, something he's done in all of his starts. He has pitched at least six innings in 11 of his 13 starts and has eight quality starts.

* Rangers starters in this series against the Indians: 28 2/3 innings pitched, four earned runs, five walks, 21 strikeouts and the Rangers were 4-0. If you take Dave Bush, a long man in the bullpen, out of the equation the three regular Rangers' starters were 3-0 and allowed one earned run in 24 2/3 innings against the Indians. Pretty remarkable.

* Since May 16, Texas starters have sported a 10-2 record with a 2.39 ERA as the Rangers have gone 13-7 in those 20 games.

* Josh Hamilton was given the day off by manager Ron Washington. It meant Hamilton didn't have to hit in a day game. He's struggled in day games throughout his career and this year is no exception. He's batting just .172 (5-for-29) with seven strikeouts. In his career, Hamilton has hit .251 in the day and .332 at night. Hamilton had a good road trip, hitting two home runs and driving in eight runs with a .308 average.

* Elvis Andrus sure likes Progressive Field. For Indian fans that have watched him the past few seasons, they might think he's got more pop than he does. Andrus has two home runs in Cleveland in 13 career games, including one on Sunday that went out to left field. The pitch Andrus hit was tailing down and inside, but he got around on it and hit it out. It was his third home run of the season after not hitting a homer in 2010. In Cleveland, Andrus is now hitting 21-for-48 (.437) with two homers and 11 RBIs.

* Nelson Cruz had a productive road trip, going 10-for-30 with two homers and five RBIs. He has now hit safely in nine straight games. He hit .281 (16-for-57) with 10 extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in 13 games since coming off the disabled list.

* Mitch Moreland finished an extremely solid road trip in style. He hit his eighth home run of the season and added another hit to go 10-for-24 (.417) with two homers. Moreland has now hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games. He's homered in three of his last eight games.

* Adrian Beltre's recent struggles -- he was 11-for-53 in his last 13 games before a 7th-inning at-bat on Sunday -- led the Indians to intentionally walk the bases loaded by issuing a free pass to Michael Young to get to Beltre. The strategy worked as Beltre grounded into a double play. He was 0-for-4 on Sunday.

* Ian Kinsler still hasn't found his stroke. He is hitless in his last 19 at-bats and was 0-for-4 with a walk on Sunday. All four outs were fly outs. The slump has dropped Kinsler's average to .221. He was 1-for-22 on the road trip and his batting .122 (13-for-106) on the road this season.

* How about Darren Oliver's curve ball? He came in wiht two outs in the eighth to relieve Wilson and pitch to Michael Brantley, who got a hit and had two walks against Wilson. Oliver used four curves during his matchup with Brantley, getting the left-handed hitter to swing at the final one out of the zone for a big strikeout to keep the score 2-0.

* David Murphy was 3-for-4 on Sunday. He needed it. Murphy, who didn't start four games on this trip, was 7-for-49 in his last 13 games before Sunday.

* Neftali Feliz gets the save and it was a confident one. He had one strikeout, but looked like his old self. He was not messing around. Wilson, Oliver and Feliz give up just three hits and only one runner in scoring position. Feliz had two saves in the series.

* The Rangers swept a four-game series for the first time since doing it against Kansas City in May 2010. It's the first road 4-game sweep since April 1999 at Minnesota. Texas has won five straight road games, most since winning eight straight last June.

* Texas has eight shutouts, equaling its total all of 2010.