Prince, Elvis rock Tribe, keep Rangers rolling
CLEVELAND -- Something had to give when the Indians and Rangers -- two of baseball's hottest teams -- opened a three-game set on Monday at Progressive Field. Behind an outpouring of offense, Texas claimed a 10-8 victory over Cleveland to extend its winning streak to six games.
The Indians saw their season-high winning streak snapped at six.
Carlos Santana and Roberto Perez each homered to help power the Indians' offense, which chased Texas starter Phil Klein from the contest after only two-plus innings. For the Rangers, Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre connected for consecutive home runs in the first inning to help send Tribe righty Shaun Marcum to the showers after only 2 2/3 innings.
"There were balls that caught too much of the plate that were up," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Marcum's outing. "The guys that he left balls up to, Beltre and Fielder, are very good offspeed hitters. Those are guys that if you make a mistake, that's what they can do to it."
Both Klein (seven runs, six earned) and Marcum (seven runs on four hits) walked away with no-decisions in the back-and-forth battle. Michael Brantley gave the Indians an 8-7 lead with an RBI double in the seventh, but the Tribe bullpen made two errors that led to two runs in the seventh.
Outfielder Josh Hamilton, who was activated from the disabled list prior to Monday's game, went 0-for-3 with one walk and one run scored in his return to the Rangers. Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus contributed a two-run double in the third and later added a leadoff homer in the eighth to extend Texas' lead.
"It's good to feel the energy in the dugout again," Hamilton said. "It's fun to be hitting behind [Shin-Soo] Choo, Prince and Beltre. That's something to look forward to on a day-in and day-out basis."
Four Rangers relievers combined to pitch seven strong innings, with Shawn Tolleson coming in to record his fourth save of the year.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Back-to-back blasts: Fielder and Beltre didn't waste much time getting to the homer-prone Marcum, hitting back-to-back home runs in the first inning. Fielder got all of his, a two-run blast which traveled 438 feet with an exit velocity of 109 mph, per Statcast™. It was the first time the Rangers had hit back-to-back homers since the same duo -- Fielder and Beltre -- did it against the Indians earlier this season, on May 15.
"There's not enough superlatives to describe [Fielder right now]," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "When he's like this, you just sit back and enjoy it. It's fun to watch."
Answering on offense: The Indians weren't going to go quietly on Monday. Santana answered Texas' first-inning homer barrage with a 447-foot solo shot that bounced into the right field concourse. Perez then highlighted a four-run outburst in the second with a towering, tailing, three-run homer that dropped just over the right-field wall to give the Indians a 5-3 lead.
"I put ourselves in a hole early," Marcum said. "Those guys did a great job of fighting and battling. The offense did a good job of coming back and giving us a chance, but that one falls on me. I put us in a big hole early."
Clawing back: Following the four-run second by the Indians, the Rangers came back with a four-run third of their own. Delino DeShields and Choo both made outs to begin the inning, but four consecutive batters reached base, knocking Marcum out of the game. Andrus, the first batter who reliever Ryan Webb faced, doubled in two of Marcum's baserunners, giving the Rangers a 7-5 lead. However, the Tribe struck back for two more in the bottom half of the inning.
"Up and down the lineup, this is what we've talked about -- being able to stretch the lineup out and score in multiple innings," Banister said. "It's fun to watch right now."
Throwing it away: A pair of throwing errors by Cleveland relievers cost the club two runs in the seventh inning. Lefty Marc Rzepczynski botched a pick-off attempt that allowed Texas' DeShields to advance to second base. Later in the inning, DeShields scored on a game-tying single by Fielder. With two outs, Zach McAllister gloved a chopper from Hamilton, but threw wildly beyond first base, allowing Fielder to score to put Texas ahead, 9-8.
"You made the pitch you wanted to make," McAllister said. "That should have been an out. It's frustrating. It's a big moment right there. It's a tie game. Who knows what happens after that? You make errors like that and things happen. It's tough to swallow, especially late in the game like that."
"The ballpark kind of looked like a Wrigley Field day. It was blowing out pretty good." -- Francona
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
When Andrus doubled in the third inning, it extended his hitting streak to 26 games while playing on the road in Cleveland. Only two players have had longer such streaks. Harry Heilmann (DET) put together a 28-game streak from 1919-1921, and Carl Reynolds (CHW) matched it from 1928-1931.
Rangers: Lefty Wandy Rodriguez (2-2, 3.38 ERA) gets the start for Texas on Tuesday night at 6:10 p.m. CT, making his seventh start of the season, which eclipses his six-start mark from 2014. Rodriguez struggled against the Indians on May 15, allowing five earned runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. That was only the second time all season that Rodriguez allowed more than one run in a start.
Indians: Right-hander Danny Salazar (5-1, 3.50 ERA) is slated to start on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET, when the Indians host the Rangers in the second tilt of this three-game series. Salazar is 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA in his last three outings, which have included 23 strikeouts and four walks in 17 2/3 innings. After a day off from starting Monday, catcher Yan Gomes will likely be back in the lineup for the Tribe.
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