ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The Cleveland Indians were so happy to be scoring runs that they didn't really care how close things got at the end.
A team that has struggled at the plate had a seven-run first inning and held on to beat the Texas Rangers 8-6 on Friday night. The Indians had scored seven runs or fewer in 24 of their first 27
games."The bottom line is we scored eight runs, and that's good," manager Eric Wedge said."There's always pressure to score runs. We have to continue," said Travis Hafner, whose two-run homer produced the first runs. "I hope we get to the point where we're scoring five or six a night."Jhonny Peralta also had a two-run homer in the first, the Indians' highest-scoring inning this season. They scored all the runs on six straight two-out hits, five of them for extra bases.But the Indians managed just one run off four relievers after that and needed closer Bob Wickman to get the final three outs.After Wickman walked pinch-hitter David Dellucci to start the ninth, Michael Young grounded into a double play. Young, still upset with a checked-swing strike called by first base umpire Gary Darling on the previous 2-1 pitch, said a few words going back to the dugout."It wasn't like he rung me up on Strike 3," Young said. "I didn't get it done. ... Even though I was upset at the call, he didn't roll over that slider for a double play."Manager Buck Showalter then got in an argument with Darling, turning his hat backward and getting face to face with the umpire. He was ejected for the first time in three seasons with Texas and threw his cap into the stands while leaving the field."We had enough opportunities not to make an umpire's call matter that we didn't take advantage of," Showalter said. "I was frustrated for them. It was right there for us."Alfonso Soriano hit a pair of two-run homers for Texas, which had its three-game winning streak snapped. Hank Blalock had three hits, including a solo homer.Hafner's homer, which made it 2-0, was hit so high and far that right fielder Richard Hidalgo just turned and watched. The homer by Peralta, the No. 9 hitter, chased Pedro Astacio (1-4).Alex Cora, leading off for just the third time this season, started the game with a single. After Hafner's homer, Casey Blake
and Ben Broussard had consecutive doubles. Jose Hernandez then had an RBI single and Grady Sizemore a run-scoring triple.Cliff Lee (3-1) was the beneficiary of the seven-run lead before throwing a pitch and held Texas to three runs and eight hits over 5 1/3 innings.Cleveland, which matched a season high with 14 hits, was batting just .227 with 3.7 runs a game, both among the worst in the AL through 27 games. The Indians had scored 100 runs, 40 fewer than at the same point last year, when they finished fifth in the majors with 858 runs.The only Indians without hits in the first were Aaron Boone,
hitting in the No. 2 spot even with a .118 average, and Victor Martinez. But in the fourth, Boone had a leadoff double and Martinez drove him in with a single that made it 8-1.Since allowing just four runs over 22 innings in his first three starts, Astacio has given up 19 runs in 10 2/3 innings during his last three.Cleveland also had some good defense, with Sizemore making two impressive catches in center. He took a homer away from Gary Matthews Jr. in the fifth when he made the catch with his glove extended above the wall and made a run-saving play near the wall
on Hidalgo's long drive in the eighth."Our hitters definitely won this game, and they played pretty good defense," Lee said. "If our hitters keep hitting like they did tonight, we're going to be tough to beat."
Astacio threw just one pitch in a start for Colorado on Sept. 6, 2000, and was hit on the hand by a line drive. ... A woman sitting in owner Tom Hicks' field-level box was hit by a bat that slipped from Matthews' hands in the sixth. Marny Fine, the wife of one of Hicks' friends, had a gash on her forehead. She walked away with help but was taken to a hospital as a precaution. Hicks had been in the box but wasn't then. ... Cleveland reliever David Riske
made his 10th straight appearance without allowing a run. He struck out four in 1 2/3 innings. ... Matthews was robbed of a homer for the second time in three games. Oakland's Bobby Kielty took a grand slam away from him with an against-the-wall catch Tuesday. ... The seven-run first was also the most for a Texas opponent this season. ... It was Soriano's eighth multihomer game. ... Right-hander Carlos Almanzar, on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, is expected to go to the Rangers' spring training complex in Arizona within a couple days.