Shortstop goes 3-for-3 with a two-run triple; Kluber, Pestano shine on mound
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Russell Wilson delivered the Rangers lineup card at home plate, but that was the only action the Seahawks' quarterback saw when Cleveland topped Texas, 6-5, on Monday at Surprise Stadium.
The Indians took the lead in the top of the seventh on a David Adams RBI groundout. Roster hopeful Jeff Francoeur got the scoring started early with a two-out, two-run single in the top of the first inning. He finished the day 2-for-3, and Elliot Johnson, also fighting for a spot, had three hits.
"Elliot Johnson can move around the field," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He can run. Francoeur gets a couple hits today. I hope they all do great and we have really tough decisions."
Rangers starter Colby Lewis, making his first Cactus League appearance after undergoing hip replacement surgery last August, looked like he might get out of a bases-loaded jam, until Francoeur's chopper up the middle. Before the game, Rangers manager Ron Washington preached caution in Lewis' comeback attempt, and Lewis lasted just two-thirds of an inning -- allowing two runs on two walks and two hits.
Lewis' counterpart Corey Kluber looked relatively sharp in surrendering only an unearned run after Alex Rios reached on an infield hit. Otherwise, Kluber didn't let another man reach base in his two innings.
Cleveland reliever Vinnie Pestano, who spent some time as the club's primary setup man before struggling in 2013, tossed a scoreless frame in his first outing of the spring.
"I didn't really get into a rhythm, but I'm not going to complain," Pestano said. "That's the cleanest inning I've had in about 16 months. It's the first game. I'm still a little bit behind. I don't know what I was throwing today, but the ball was doing what it was supposed to do. The velo will pick up more as we get into games, but the ball's back doing what it's supposed to do, and I'm comfortable."
After their rocky first inning, the Rangers went to rotation-candidate Nick Tepesch, who tossed three scoreless frames, while needing just 34 pitches to do so.
Wilson, meanwhile, a two-sport star whose rights were acquired by Texas in December, signed autographs before the game and was serenaded by "Seahawks" chants throughout it. He won't be quitting his day job, however.
Up next: Right-hander Josh Tomlin will continue his pursuit of the only available job in the Indians' rotation on Tuesday when the Tribe hosts the White Sox in a 3:05 p.m. ET Cactus League tilt at Goodyear Ballpark. Tomlin is scheduled to log three innings after starter Zach McAllister opens with two frames for Cleveland. Closer John Axford and relievers Marc Rzepczynski, Scott Barnes and Bryan Price are also slated to pitch. Expect regulars such as Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn and Carlos Santana to rejoin the lineup after a day off Monday