Rapid Reaction: Rangers 8, Indians 3
It was an impressive big-league debut for Jurickson Profar, and the Rangers pounded out 15 hits, four of them homers, in an 8-3 win over the Cleveland Indians. Some quick thoughts:
What it means: The Rangers won their fifth consecutive series, taking two of three in Cleveland. ... They will stay at least three games ahead of Oakland, who face the Boston Red Sox on Sunday afternoon.
First at-bat, first homer: Profar made quite the big-league debut on Sunday, belting a 388-foot home run over the fence in right field on his very first at-bat in the big leagues. He's the first teenager (and youngest player) in AL history to hit a home run in his first career at-bat, according to Elias Sports Bureau. ... He's the first Ranger to hit a home run in the first at-bat of his big-league career and the youngest Ranger to ever hit a home run. ... He also had a double. ... Click here to read all about the home run and the club history that Profar made.
Washington ties Oates: The win ties manager Ron Washington with Johnny Oates for second on the club's all-time win list behind Bobby Valentine. Washington now has 506 wins. Valentine had 581.
Homer happy: The Rangers hit four homers on Sunday, including three in the third inning. That featured back-to-back homers by Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre, with David Murphy chipping in two batters later. ... Every starter in the Rangers' lineup had a hit except Mitch Moreland.
Hamilton collecting RBIs: Hamilton's solo home run pushed his RBI total to 113, which leads the major leagues. He now has 37 home runs, one behind Adam Dunn.
Cruz ends series on uptick: Nelson Cruz had a nice game at the plate and in the field. The slugger had two hits, including a double to right-center field. The ball bounced into the stands, meaning just one run scored instead of two on the hit. ... Cruz also had a terrific diving grab in the bottom of the fourth to keep the bases empty and record the second out. Cruz was able to get to Matt LaPorta's line drive to right by fully stretching out. ... It was a much better way to end the series after Cruz was ejected in Friday's game and started the road trip 1-for-7 before Sunday.
Beltre still hot: Beltre was named the Rangers' player of the month in August, thanks in large part to how he finished the month. But on Saturday, he started September off with a bang too, going 3-for-4 with a homer and a double on the first day of the month. Beltre homered in the fifth Sunday to continue his hot pace -- he has eight homers in his last 11 games. Coming into the game, Beltre was 20-for-40 with six doubles, seven homers, 15 RBIs and nine runs in his last 10 games. ... He also had his usual solid defensive game, making a nice diving stop to his left to get the first out of the sixth (Russ Canzler hit it).
Holland gets job done: Starter Derek Holland ran into trouble with two outs in the second inning, giving up a two-run homer to Carlos Santana on a hanging breaking ball moments after the Rangers had scored four runs. He got a visit from manager Ron Washington, something that happens from time to time when Holland is on the mound. And he settled down and pitched very well while also getting some help from his offense. ... Holland went seven innings and gave up two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and two walks. ... It was his third straight win.
Murphy still hot: Besides the homer, Murphy had a big two-out single in the second to help the Rangers jump out to a 4-0 lead. He added a two-strike single in the seventh and had a walk. ... Murphy has 11 multi-hit games in his last 16 starts and is batting .458 with five doubles, a triple, three homers, 12 RBIs and 15 runs scored. ... In the three games on this road trip, Murphy is 7-for-11 with a triple, two homers and five RBIs.
Andrus loves Cleveland: He was 3-for-5 with a run scored on Sunday, extending his hitting streak against the Indians to 29 games. It's the longest hit streak by a player against an opponent in Rangers history (Ivan Rodriguez had a 27-game hitting streak against Tampa Bay in 1998-2000).
Up next: RHP Yu Darvish (13-9, 4.31 ERA) starts things off for the Rangers in Kansas City on Monday against Bruce Chen (10-10, 5.13 ERA) at 1:10 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW.
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.