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Colon falters as Rangers can't quiet Tribe's bats

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter Bartolo Colon looked strong for four innings on Saturday night in the early stages of a nice pitching duel against Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco.

But then it all fell apart in the fifth. Colon is still looking for that next win that will allow him to pass Dennis Martinez of Nicaragua for the most by a pitcher from Latin America. Colon, who is from the Dominican Republic, is still stuck on 245 wins after allowing five runs in the fifth in a 16-3 loss to the Indians at Globe Life Park.

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ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter Bartolo Colon looked strong for four innings on Saturday night in the early stages of a nice pitching duel against Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco.

But then it all fell apart in the fifth. Colon is still looking for that next win that will allow him to pass Dennis Martinez of Nicaragua for the most by a pitcher from Latin America. Colon, who is from the Dominican Republic, is still stuck on 245 wins after allowing five runs in the fifth in a 16-3 loss to the Indians at Globe Life Park.

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"I know it's going to happen," Colon said. "If I think about it, it's going to get frustrating. If it happens, it happens; if it doesn't, it doesn't. I don't want to think about it and get frustrated."

Carrasco threw six scoreless innings before giving up a two-run home run to Adrian Beltre in the seventh. The blast cut the Rangers' deficit to 10-2.

Video: CLE@TEX: Beltre belts a 2-run homer to right field

Colon will get more chances at Martinez and the record. He had a 3.94 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in his five previous outings, and four of those qualified as quality starts. The Rangers also aren't brimming with alternative candidates with Doug Fister on the disabled list, Matt Moore in the bullpen and Yohander Mendez in the Minor Leagues following a prescribed regimen that doesn't include big league consideration right now.

Colon has lost his last three starts and is 3-7 with a 6.56 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP in his last 11 starts.

"Obviously, there have been some moments in there that have been really, really good, and there have been some moments where he has had to battle through," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "I think he's in good shape, he knows how to take care of himself. It seems like he has been able to rebound through all his starts in a good way."

Austin Bibens-Dirkx has made six starts for the Rangers this season, but he had a rough night in relief, allowing 11 runs in four innings while trying to keep the rest of the bullpen from being used. That's the most runs ever allowed by a Rangers' reliever in one outing.

Colon, pitching in 100-plus degree heat, allowed just two hits and a walk through four innings. He had also retired eight straight hitters going into the fifth before everything changed. Melky Cabrera led off with a double and scored on a single by Yan Gomes. A one-out double by Francisco Lindor brought home Gomes and a single by Michael Brantley made it 3-0.

Video: CLE@TEX: Indians tally 6 runs in the 5th inning

Jose Ramirez followed with a single to right and Brantley came around to score on an error by outfielder Joey Gallo. Ramirez was thrown out trying to go to third on the play, but that didn't stop the rally. Colon left after giving up a double to Edwin Encarnacion, but Bibens-Dirkx took over and gave up a two-run home run to Yonder Alonso.

Video: CLE@TEX: Alonso homers in the 5th and the 7th

"I didn't change anything," Colon said. "What happened in the fifth is they were aggressive and got on my pitches. That's a team that is hot right now and when they're hot, that's what happens."

Colon said the heat did not bother him or get to him in the fifth.

"It affects everybody," Colon said. "You don't think about it, you just do your job."

The Rangers have lost four straight. They are also 3-12 in July, after going 14-11 in June.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Indians five-run fifth started with a double by Cabrera and Gomes followed with a single to right. Gallo, in his first career big league start in right field, made a strong throw to the plate, but it was up the third-base line and Cabrera was able to slide around catcher Robinson Chirinos' tag for the first run.

Video: CLE@TEX: Gomes hits an RBI single to right field

CHOO STREAK ENDS
Shin-Soo Choo went 0-for-4 and his 52-game on-base streak came to an end. Choo grounded out, struck out twice and reached on a fielder's choice in the eighth when his grounder forced Willie Calhoun at second. Reaching on a fielder's choice does not extend an on-base streak. 

HE SAID IT
"Obviously, we could have been in a little worse shape if he didn't do what he did tonight. He was able to battle through … there at the end, he was giving us everything he's got. You got to tip your hat to him. It's one of those situations where it's not pretty, but he understands what the situation was and he was trying to complete that game for us." -- Banister, on Bibens-Dirkx 

UP NEXT
Right-hander Yovani Gallardo makes his sixth start for the Rangers when they face the Indians at 2:05 p.m. CT on Sunday at Globe Life Park. Gallardo is 3-1 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in five starts since being called up from Triple-A Round Rock. The Rangers are 4-1 in his five starts. He is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in two career starts against the Indians. Right-hander Mike Clevinger will pitch for the Indians.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Bartolo Colon