Friday, May 4, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Indians 6, Rangers 3
By Bryan Dolgin
The Texas Rangers's losing streak reached three games with a 6-3 loss at Cleveland to begin a three-games series Friday night. The Rangers have their longest skid since Aug. 23-25, when they lost three straight to the Boston Red Sox. The Rangers are 1-3 on the current road trip.
The seventh inning marked the difference. After the first batters reached for the Rangers, Ian Kinsler hit into a double play and Elvis Andrus grounded out to end the inning. In the bottom of the frame, Johnny Damon's two-out, two-RBI double gave the Indians the 6-3 lead and ended Colby Lewis' night.
Untouchable no more: Lewis entered this start with opposing hitters 0-for-21 against him with runners in scoring position. That stretch reached 0-for-23 before an infield hit by Asdrubel Cabrera in the sixth. The 23 at-bats was the highest total without a hit in the majors.
The long ball: Lewis gave up a two-run home run to Shin Soo Choo in the bottom of the second. It was the first home run of the season for Choo. Lewis also gave up a leadoff homer to Jack Hannahan in the third. It was originally ruled a triple, but the umpires reviewed it and gave him the home run. That was the second home run of the game given up by Lewis and the sixth of the season. Five of the six home runs have been hit by a left-handed hitter, including both Friday.
Napoli nabs two: Mike Napoli caught Michael Brantley trying to steal second base in the second and Cabrera in the sixth, the first two runners thrown out by Napoli in 2012. He is 2-for-6 in catching potential base thieves. Teammate Yorvit Torealba has caught three of seven would-be base stealers.
Fundamentals: After Mitch Moreland led off the third with a double, Alberto Gonzalez moved him to third with a groundout to second base. Then, Ian Kinsler brought Moreland home with a sacrifice fly to right field. Kinsler has driven in 16 on the season. That sac fly cut the Rangers' deficit to 2-1.
Beating the drum: David Murphy was a .478 hitter (11-for-23) against the Indians last season. He singled in the second inning Friday and brought the Rangers to within a run with an RBI double in the fourth. Murphy finished 2-for-4.
Cruz control?: Nelson Cruz was 1-for-13 on this trip before Friday. He grounded into a double play in the second, flied out center in the fourth to advance Murphy to third base and singled home the tying run in the sixth to make the score 3-3. If you go back further, Cruz entered this game 6-for-40 in the last 11 games without a home run.
Hits keep coming?: Elvis Andrus has hit safely in each of the first 24 games he has played against the Indians. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the longest start of a career streak by a any player against any team. He extended the streak to 24 with a 1st inning infield single off righty Jeanmar Gomez.
He's back: Josh Hamilton returned to the starting lineup. He's been day-to-day since leaving the game Sunday with a back issue. Hamilton did not play in the three games in Toronto but finished Friday 1-for-4 with a single.
Adrian Beltre stayed out of the starting lineup for the third consecutive day. He pinch-hit for Gonzalez in the ninth, but he flied to right to end the game.