Cleveland takes series with second-straight 5-2 win
Same-old 5-2 margin leads to win over Rangers
ARLINGTON – The Cleveland Indians completed a nine-game road trip with their second-straight win as they topped the Texas Rangers 5-2 on Wednesday.
The Indians posted a pair in the second inning as designated hitter Jason Giambi was hit by a two-out pitch. Cue shortstop Mike Aviles, who sent his fourth home run of the season to left, giving Cleveland the 2-0 advantage.
One more crossed the dish for the Indians in the following inning as center fielder Michael Bourn and second baseman Jason Kipnis laced a pair of back-to-back singles. With one out, left fielder Michael Brantley singled to right to score Bourn, boosting Cleveland’s lead to 3-0.
The Rangers responded in their share of the third inning in the form of a long ball off the bat of center fielder Leonys Martin for his third home run of the year.
Cleveland cashed in some insurance in the fifth as Kipnis joined the home run brigade with a lead-off solo shot to right. With one out, Brantley drew a walk and scored on a double by catcher Carlos Santana, advancing Cleveland to the 5-1 lead.
Meanwhile, Jimenez limited the damage until the sixth inning, where he was replaced with lefty Rich Hill with two men on, closing Jimenez’s day with five innings pitched, yielding one run on four hits, four walks and four strikeouts. Hill completed his job as catcher A.J. Pierzynski flew out. That was Hill’s only opponent as he was replaced with Bryan Shaw, who converted the final two outs of the inning to impede any further damage.
Tepesch was also pulled after five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, one walk, and five strikeouts before he was replaced with Jason Frasor, who tossed an inning of scoreless relief. Shaw gave way to Nick Hagadone, who completed the seventh inning unscathed for the Tribe.
Cleveland saw the return of the Mac in the eighth inning as recently acquired infielder John McDonald entered the game as a defensive substitution for Reynolds. The 5-1 lead was all relievers Joe Smith and Vinnie Pestano needed through the eighth and ninth, though Texas plated one more in the ninth on an RBI single by shortstop Jurickson Profar.
Wednesday’s win keeps Cleveland as sole owners of the second place slot in the American League Central, as they remain five games behind the first-place Detroit Tigers and a half game ahead of the third-place Kansas City Royals.
Next, the Tribe hosts the Washington Nationals for a three-game series. Righty Justin Masterson (8-5, 3.68) is scheduled to start Friday. Washington’s starting pitcher is yet to be determined, according to MLB.
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.
Giving up one run in five innings against the Rangers in their ballpark when you don't have your best command is a pretty good outing, and it helps to end this road trip on a win streak and build a little momentum coming home. Nice job by Ubaldo.