Rapid Reaction: Rangers 5, Indians 2
The Texas Rangers ended their three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win at Cleveland in 11 innings. Adrian Beltre hit a pinch-hit 3-run home run off righty Joe Smith for the difference. Rangers pinch-hitters were 0-for-12 this season prior to that blast to center field.
Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland is from Newark, Ohio. Last year in his first start ever in his home state, Holland tossed a five-hit complete game shutout. He needed that good karma after his previous two starts which resulted in his two losses this season. Holland pitched well enough for a win, throwing 7.1 innings and allowing just five hits, but Mike Adams took the blown save after he allowed two inherited runners to score and tie the game at two. Holland did not factor into the decision. Alexi Ogando got his first win of the season, and Joe Nathan pitched the 11th for his seventh save.
Life on the road: With the win tonight, the Rangers remained tied with Baltimore for most road wins at 10. The Orioles won their 10th on Saturday, 8-2 at Boston. The Rangers visit the Orioles on Monday-Thursday. The O’s also boast an 18-9 overall record.
Top of the lineup: Ian Kinsler drove in the Rangers' first run in the second inning. That ended an 0-for-8 stretch for him at the plate. It also meant that he has reached safely in 16 of the last 18 games.
Playing the hits: Elvis Andrus singled in the first inning, giving him a hit in all 25 games he has played against the Indians. He is two games shy of tying Ivan Rodriguez for the longest Rangers hitting streak against one opponent at 27. Pudge hit in 27 straight versus Tampa Bay from June 2, 1998-June 23, 2000. Elvis also has reached base safely in 23 consecutive games this season.
A ... B ... C-ya: Beltre has not been in the starting lineup for the last four games including tonight. In total, he has not been in the starting lineup in seven games. In those games, the Rangers have a 2-5 record.
Cruzin’ for hits: Nelson Cruz began Saturday night’s game 2-for-17 on the road trip. He grounded out to shortstop in the first inning with the bases loaded. He later produced a lead-off single in the fourth. For the game, Cruz was 1-for-5.
At first: Michael Young started Saturday night’s game at first base. It’s his first start of the season at first base. This season, Young has made four starts at second base, five at third base and 16 as the designated hitter.
More and more: Mitch Moreland has his bat back on track. His RBI double in the fourth inning put the Rangers up 2-0, and it also meant that he has hit safely in seven straight starts and eight of nine games overall. Prior to this nine-game stretch, Moreland was hitting .139. Moreland was 3-for-4 on Saturday night, boosting his season batting average to .277. The Beltre was preceded by an intentional walk to Moreland.
Down Lowe: The Rangers pushed the pitch count to 104 on Indians starting pitcher Derek Lowe, who exited the game after six innings. Lowe forced the Rangers to keep the ball on the ground with 14 groundouts and just one in the air. He also induced two double plays. Lowe did not factor into the decision.
Indigestion: Rangers right-handed reliever Mike Adams entered the game in relief of Holland in the eighth inning. The runners on first and third were the first baserunners he inherited this season. The lead runner scored on a double by Asdrubel Cabrera. The second one came home on a passed ball.
Extra innings: The Rangers played one other extra-inning game this season. They needed 11 innings to beat Detroit 3-2 on April 22 in the Motor City.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.