Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 6, Indians 4
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A four-run second inning that featured a Cleveland error and a wild pitch helped the Rangers to a 6-4 victory over the Indians in the first game of a three-game set. Some quick thoughts:
What it means: The Rangers move to 84-57 and will stay at least three games up on the Oakland A's. It could be four games if the Angels beat the A's later tonight.
Harrison mixed results: Matt Harrison allowed just two runs on five hits on Tuesday for his team-leading 16th win. But he wasn't able to pitch six innings. He had three walks and ran into some trouble in the sixth. After getting a double play to eliminate an early single, Harrison gave up a single and a double to make it a 5-2 score. That's when manager Ron Washington decided to bring in Alexi Ogando to get Brent Lillibridge with a runner at second. Still, it was progress for Harrison, who struggled in two starts before getting some extra rest prior to this one.
Perfect through three: Harrison set down the Indians in order the first three innings and had four strikeouts in the process. He threw first-pitch strikes to seven of those batters and appeared on his way to a sterling outing before two walks to open the fourth. ... He gave up his first hit with an out in the fifth.
Taking advantage: The Rangers made sure mistakes by the Indians in the second inning came back to haunt them. Adrian Beltre hit what should have been a routine grounder to third to start the second inning, but a throw that was offline was missed by first baseman Russ Canzler, who was charged with the error. That put Beltre at second. He scored on an RBI single by Michael Young.
Wild pitch: Perhaps that error rattled Ubaldo Jimenez. He threw a wild pitch -- his AL-leading 16th of the season -- with Young at third base, allowing the second run to score.
Doing what's asked: Manager Ron Washington constantly preaches about doing the little things the game asks you to do. Leonys Martin did that in the second inning when he hit a fly ball to center field to score Mitch Moreland with the third run of the inning. Martin hit a 1-1 curveball to drive in the run.
Kinsler ends skid: Ian Kinsler's double down the left-field line ended an 0-for-12 streak for him. It was his 39th double of the season, third-most in the AL, and it scored Geovany Soto (who walked) with the fourth run. It was also the only run in the inning that was earned. ... Coming into the game, Kinsler was batting .200 in his last 30 games.
Beltre homer (after review): Beltre got his 31st home run of the season in the fifth inning, hitting a ball on top of the Southwest Airlines sign in left-center. The ball hit the top of the wall, but appeared to also hit the back wall. It was called a double, but after review was changed to a home run. It's the first time a review has been called for a Rangers hitter at home since Sept. 14, 2010 against Detroit when a David Murphy homer was upheld.
Andrus perfect vs. Indians: Elvis Andrus continued his dominance of Indians pitching by hitting safely in his 30th career game against them. He did it with an RBI single in the sixth. The 30-game hitting streak is a club record for any player against an opponent.
Ogando solid: The reliever came in with a runner at second and two outs in the sixth and got Lillibridge to ground out back to the mound. He then got through the seventh inning for a scoreless 1 1/3 innings. It was just his third appearance in the past 13 days.
Injury updates: Roy Oswalt has a strained forearm and won't throw for two or three days and will then be re-evaluated. ... Mike Napoli was 0-for-2 with a groundout, strikeout and a hit-by-pitch in his rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco, who lost to Springfield, 5-0, in Game 1 of the Texas League Championship Series. Napoli caught seven innings.
Adams struggles: Mike Adams didn't have it on Tuesday. He came in to pitch the eighth and allowed a hit, two walks and two fielder's choices. One run scored and Adams left with two on and two outs. Koji Uehara allowed a single up the middle to score the fourth run of the game, which was charged to Adams.
Scheppers strikeout: Tanner Scheppers, certainly in the running for a postseason spot, came in to stop the Indians' rally in the eighth and did just that with a strikeout of pinch hitter Michael Brantley.
Tidbits: Soto stole his first base of the season, going to second just as Jimenez threw a pitch in the dirt, getting the base without a throw. ... Tuesday's attendance was 34,765. That pushes the club's overall total in 2012 to 2,931,040. The club should pass the 3 million mark Thursday. ... Joe Nathan got his 32nd save of the season and his 30th in a row, which is a career-high. He has 293 in his career.
Up next: RHP Ryan Dempster (10-6, 2.87 ERA in NL/AL) starts for Texas and will be opposed by RHP Jeanmar Gomez (5-7, 5.33 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW.