CLEVELAND -- After trailing by as many as seven runs early, the Indians scored 12 runs in three innings to defeat the Rangers, 15-9, in the series opener on Monday at Progressive Field.Seven Indians had at least one RBI in the game, with Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall
CLEVELAND -- After trailing by as many as seven runs early, the Indians scored 12 runs in three innings to defeat the Rangers, 15-9, in the series opener on Monday at Progressive Field.
Seven Indians had at least one RBI in the game, with Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall each driving in three runs. It marked the first time the Indians overcame a deficit of at least seven runs in a win since April 17, 2012, against the Mariners.
"It's the second inning, we're down by eight runs or whatever it was," Indians outfielder Bradley Zimmer said, "and I was thinking to myself, 'We're going to win this game.' Sure enough, we kept chipping away, had some walks, some big hits and then we broke it open. It was a fun game to be a part of and a really good team win for us."
Rangers starter Cole Hamels, who was charged with seven runs in 4 1/3 innings, was replaced by reliever Dario Alvarez in the fifth inning with the bases loaded, and Alvarez allowed all three runners to score. The Texas bullpen allowed another eight runs.
"I think the biggest thing is that we gave up 28 plate appearances with runners in scoring position," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "That's the real story. The inability to stop any of the bleeding."
The Rangers led the Indians, 9-2, in the fourth inning. Elvis Andrus recorded his second career multi-homer game, hitting a three-run homer in the second followed by a solo shot in the fourth. Adrian Beltre added a three-run shot, Joey Gallo hit a solo homer and Nomar Mazara connected for an RBI double.
Indians starter Carlos Carrasco struggled out of the chute, and was removed in the fourth inning after tying a career high by allowing eight runs on six hits -- three homers -- and walking three.
Hamels came off of the disabled list to make his first start since April 26 but didn't fare much better than Carrasco, allowing eight hits and walking four while recording just one strikeout on 92 pitches.
"What a team effort. It was so much fun," said Indians bench coach Brad Mills, who managed in place of Terry Francona (illness). "You look around that field and all the clutch hits, clutch plays, guys hustling and beating double plays out so we can get runs, things of that nature. "And then the bullpen, the way they came in and did a great job. I'm sitting there and the coaching staff did a great job helping me out as well. They did a great job. What was so cool, was to see how everybody came together."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Lonnie swings the momentum: After Cleveland chipped away at Texas' lead for the first five innings, the Tribe finally broke things open with a five-run sixth. The first six batters reached base, but the game's turning point arrived with the bases loaded and Chisenhall at the plate. Chisenhall sent a pitch from Alex Claudio up the middle at 108 mph, per Statcast™, scoring two runs to put the Indians ahead for the first time, 10-9.
"It's awesome," Chisenhall said. "You're chipping through, chipping through, and then to finally break through, it was a great feeling. Guys are on base, no outs. It was a good time for it."
Seeing double: Cleveland continued to keep its foot on the gas in the seventh, when the lineup churned out four doubles (one each for Edwin Encarnacion, Roberto Perez, Zimmer and Santana) against Rangers reliever Preston Claiborne. Zimmer's opposite-field RBI double was the last in that sequence. Per Statcast™, it flew off his bat at 106 mph and clanked high off the left-field wall, plating Perez. That led to a 13th unanswered run for the Tribe.
"I think when you get in a situation -- they always talk about how hitting is contagious -- when you see the guy in front of you go up and have success, you put pressure on the pitcher on the mound," Banister said. "Now it becomes a situation where guys are trying to execute pitches, and they leave a pitch over the plate and these guys don't miss. They have a group of hitters that swing the bat very well."
"Coming off the type of series we just came off of, any win would be a good win. But for us to come out today and come back the way we did, just shows the heart, the drive that we have to win. It was kind of a down series for us the last couple days. We're going to hopefully continue to do what we're doing."
-- Indians reliever Bryan Shaw
"It was a 13-run turnaround. That's how you put in into context. There's nothing more than that. They heated up and put balls in play. Look, first of all, we were pretty efficient with our at-bats and our run-scoring opportunities. It wasn't until the last inning there where I think we stranded four all night long. The challenge is that when you score nine runs you expect to win a baseball game. It didn't happen. It absolutely doesn't feel good."
-- Banister, on blowing the lead
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Beltre's three-run shot in the first inning was the third baseman's 449th career homer, moving him into a three-way tie for 39th on the all-time home run list with Jeff Bagwell and Vladimir Guerrero.
• After going 1-for-23 with runners in scoring position during their previous three games, the Indians went 11-for-28 with RISP in the win over Texas. That feat marks Cleveland's most at-bats with RISP in one game since 1974.
FRANCONA LEAVES GAME
Francona was noticeably missing in the fourth inning, when Mills walked to the mound to remove Carrasco from the game. The team announced Francona left the dugout within the first few innings after "not feeling well," and Mills assumed managerial duties. After the game, the team announced that Francona checked out fine and more information would come Tuesday. This marked the second time this month (also on June 13) that the manager left early due to illness.
"Obviously, we all hope he's going to be OK," Zimmer said. "We got a big win for him tonight, so hopefully that'll cheer him up. I hope he's better."
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
With two outs in the second inning, Beltre lined a pitch into the left-center gap, and Zimmer chased down the ball and initially bobbled it. Beltre turned the hit into a double, but his foot came off the bag and second baseman Jason Kipnis applied a tag after receiving Zimmer's throw. The Indians challenged that Beltre was out and a replay review lasting 53 seconds overturned the safe call.
Rangers: Right-hander Tyson Ross (1-1, 9.35 ERA) is scheduled to make his third start of the season in Tuesday's 6:10 p.m. CT tilt against the Indians at Progressive Field. He was roughed up in his last outing, during which he allowed seven runs on seven hits in three innings against the Blue Jays.
Indians: Righty Mike Clevinger (3-3, 3.86 ERA) is slated to take the ball against the Rangers in the 7:10 p.m. ET contest. Left fielder Michael Brantley is expected to make his return to Cleveland's lineup after recovering from a right ankle injury.
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William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland who covered the Rangers on Monday.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.