Rapid Reaction: Rangers 6, Indians 4
June, 6, 2014
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers beat the Cleveland Indians 6-4 in front of 38,348 at Globe Life Park in Arlington on Friday. Some thoughts:
How it happened: Michael Choice hit the go-ahead homer in the seventh inning, breaking a 4-4 tie. Yu Darvish gave up four runs on a season-high nine hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. He wasn't at his best and blew a four-run lead but still got his sixth win of the season.
What it means: Texas has won two straight and is over .500 once again. The Rangers take the first game in this four-game series.
Gives up 1st HR at home: Darvish turned and watched as Lonnie Chisenhall hit a 3-2 pitch with two outs off the foul pole in right field for a three-run homer. It was the first home run Darvish has allowed at home and just the fourth this season. It also was rare to see Darvish give up something other than a solo shot. That was the first home run with a runner on base that Darvish has allowed since Sept. 29, 2013.
Blown lead: Darvish was handed a 4-0 lead heading into the third inning, and by the time the top of the fourth was over, it was all gone. All four runs came on home runs. Darvish gave up four runs in his past four starts combined prior to Friday. He had allowed as many as four runs in an outing just once in his 10 starts coming into the game (April 28 vs. Oakland).
Jam out: Darvish got himself into a jam in the sixth, giving up singles to the first two batters he faced -- Yan Gomes and Carlos Santana -- in a tie game. But he struck out Mike Aviles on a cutter that was framed nicely by catcher Chris Gimenez. Darvish then got Michael Bourn looking on a well-located fastball. He recorded the final out on a ground ball to first. Darvish smacked his glove, fired up that he kept the score tied.
(Another) Choice cut: For the second time in as many nights, Choice hit a home run. This one was hit to right field -- the opposite way -- off left-handed pitcher Marc Rzepczynski. (Remember him from the 2011 Cardinals?) With Rougned Odor on deck, the Indians stuck with Rzepczynski, who came in with right-handed batters hitting .359 against him this season. Choice made sure that trend continued with the go-ahead homer.
Odor reaches upper deck: Odor crushed a 95 mph fastball an estimated 405 feet into the upper deck for a two-run homer to give the Rangers a 4-0 lead in the second. It was Odor's second home run of the season.
Still streaking: Elvis Andrus came into the eighth inning needing a hit to continue his ridiculous stretch against the Indians. His ground-ball single to right means he has a hit in 38 career games versus Cleveland. That's tied for the second-longest streak against one opponent since 1900. Jacoby Ellsbury hit safely in 38 games against the Baltimore Orioles, and Vladimir Guerrero had a hit in 44 games against Texas from April 9, 2004, to Aug. 4, 2006.
Still streaking II: Gimenez extended his hitting streak to eight games and has reached base safely in all nine games he's started with Texas. He doubled in the second inning and scored a run. Gimenez is hitting .454 (15-for-33) with five extra-base hits in that span.
Web gem: Andrus made a great play to turn an inning-ending double play in the eighth. Despite a good slide by Santana, Andrus was able to step on the bag, turn, start to fall down over Santana and get the throw to first in time for the out anyway. Follow that? Trust me, it was a terrific (but odd) play.
Up next: Rangers RHP Nick Tepesch (2-1, 4.43 ERA) is on the mound for Texas, while RHP Josh Tomlin (3-2, 3.06 ERA) is slated to start for Cleveland. The game begins at 3:05 p.m. CT on FS1 and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.