Saturday, June 7, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Indians 8, Rangers 3
By Randy Jennings
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A two-run home run by Carlos Santana in the seventh inning off Tanner Scheppers capped a four-run Cleveland rally, turning a close game into an 8-3 rout for the Cleveland Indians over the Texas Rangers on Saturday afternoon in front of 34,633 at Globe Life Park. The loss dropped the Rangers to 2-3 on the homestand and 31-31 overall.
Santana came into the game batting .162, but reached base all four times. Both of the runners inherited by Scheppers in the seventh scored. Scheppers, who was activated from the disabled list just two days, surrendered a home run to Adam Jones on Thursday in his first relief appearance of the season.
Cleveland winner Josh Tomlin (4-2) needed just more than 100 pitches on a warm afternoon to complete eight innings while limiting the Rangers to seven hits.
Former Rangers outfielder David Murphy had three hits and drove in a run. Some observations:
Playing with fire: Texas starter Nick Tepesch wiggled out of trouble in the second inning and again in the fourth by retiring Indians No. 9 hitter Yan Gomes. Tepesch faced Gomes again in the sixth with two on, and this time the outcome was a lot different. Gomes banged a 404-foot home run to center field, turning a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 Cleveland lead. Tepesch dropped to 2-2 after allowing eight hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Good idea: With speedy Michael Bourn at first and no outs in the fifth inning, Asdrubal Cabrera got under a pitch and sent a high infield popup to Adrian Beltre. The Rangers third baseman made the catch, much to the apparent chagrin of shortstop Elvis Andrus and second baseman Luis Sardinas, judging by their reaction. Had Beltre allowed the ball to fall to the grass and then flip to Andrus covering second, Cabrera would replace Bourn as the base runner. Bourn did steal second a few pitches later but was stranded at third.
Scratching for a run: The Rangers played some very nice fundamental baseball in the third inning for the game’s first run. Leonys Martin led off by legging out a bunt single. On a hit-and-run play, Sardinas served a soft single to left field, sending Martin to third. Andrus brought in the run with a sacrifice fly to right.
Sneaky play: The Rangers' defensive shift for left-handed hitters typically has Beltre practically playing shortstop. That allows a base runner at third to get a big lead. But catcher Robinson Chirinos and Beltre combined to pick off Lonnie Chisenhall in the fourth inning, saving a run in the process. Chisenhall was caught too far down the line and Beltre snuck behind him and after taking Chirinos' throw applied the tag.
Game of inches: Beltre narrowly missed his ninth home run of the year in the sixth inning. His drive down the line in left hit the top of the padded wall. Beltre settled for an RBI double and eventually scored the third Rangers run on a wild pitch.
Milking it: Fate conspired against Rangers reliever Robbie Ross Jr. in a pregame cow-milking contest when his bucket was kicked over by the cow, making a winner out of Indians catcher George Kottaras. Kottaras also held the upper hand over Ross in the competition last year when Kottaras was a member of the Royals.
Up next: The Rangers and Indians tangle in Game 3 of the four-game series set for a 2:05 p.m. start on Sunday at Globe Life Park with Rangers left-hander Joe Saunders (0-1, 3.68 ERA) opposed by Tribe right-hander Justin Masterson (3-4, 4.72 ERA) on ESPN 103.3 FM and Fox Sports Southwest.