Friday, July 26, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Indians 11, Rangers 8 (11)
By Todd Wills
The Texas Rangers made a spirited comeback Friday night in Cleveland. They also lost.
Texas rallied from a seven-run deficit to tie the game, but Ryan Raburn crushed a three-run home run off Jason Frasor in the bottom of the 11th as the Indians prevailed 11-8 at Progressive Field.
Stunning finish: Frasor had pitched very well for two innings, but manager Ron Washington elected to use him for a third inning and the veteran right-handed reliever didn't get an out in the inning. He allowed singles to Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana, setting up Raburn's walk-off homer down the left-field line.
Huge comeback: The Rangers trailed 7-1 in the fifth inning and came all the way back to tie the game in the top of the eighth. They scored in four straight innings, starting with an RBI single by Ian Kinsler in the fifth and ending with his two-run single in the eighth to tie the score at 8-8.
Keeping the pressure on: The Rangers cut the Indians' lead to 8-6 in the top of the seventh and actually brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the person of A.J. Pierzynski. Elvis Andrus chopped a single and Leonys Martin followed with a base hit to start the inning. They pulled off a double steal to put runners in scoring position. Kinsler followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center to make it 8-5. Engel Beltre made it 8-6 with a single down the left-field line, but made a crucial baserunning mistake getting thrown out at second -- especially when Cruz walked and Adrian Beltre singled. Pierzynski lined out to first base to end the threat.
Tying the game: Kinsler's game-tying two-run single in the top of the eighth was set up when David Murphy had a single and Andrus was hit by a pitch with one out. Martin tried to bunt his way on base but was out at first, moving the tying runs to second and third. Kinsler came through with his big hit to right field.
Elvis a Tribe killer: Andrus continued his amazing run against Cleveland, extending his hitting streak against the Indians to 35 games with his single in the seventh. It's the third longest streak against one team dating back to 1945. Andrus is tied with Ken Griffey Jr, who had a 35-game hitting streak against Cleveland from May 1992 to August 1996.
Perez gets hit hard: Martin Perez didn't have it from the start Friday night, allowing eight hits in 3 1/3 innings. Nick Swisher got it started with a home run in the first inning. Perez unraveled in the fourth inning. The first five Indians reached base on four singles and a walk. The Rangers also played shoddy defense in the inning with two errors. Perez allowed six earned runs and had two walks and two wild pitches.
Lack of execution: The Rangers had a chance make it a one-run game at 3-2 in the top of the fourth. After Mitch Moreland had barreled into Indians catcher Carlos Santana to cut the lead to 3-1 on Leonys Martin's sacrifice fly, Andrus got to third base when the ball got away from Santana. With one out, Kinsler didn't get the job done, popping up to second base and leaving Andrus at third. It continued a trend of brutal execution by the Rangers.
Cruz unleashed: Nelson Cruz, who slumped on the seven-game homestand, crushed his team-leading 24th home run of the season in the top of the sixth. It was Cruz's second home run since the All-Star break.
Rough night for A.J.: Pierzynski let three wild pitches get past him, at least two of which he had a chance to block. He also let a throw from the outfield get away from him. Pierzynski was 1-for-5 at the plate.
Up next: The Rangers will try to even the three-game series when right-hander Yu Darvish (9-4, 2.86) faces Tribe right-hander Justin Masterson (11-7, 3.60) at 6:05 p.m. Saturday. On Sunday, right-hander Alexi Ogando (4-2, 3.13) versus right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (7-4, 4.49) at 12:05 p.m. Both games will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest and broadcast on the radio on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.