CLEVELAND -- Adrian Beltre's 450th home run could not have come at a better time, as the third baseman's solo shot off Indians closer Cody Allen in the top of the ninth proved to be the difference in the Rangers' 2-1 win on Tuesday at Progressive Field.Beltre's 103-mph home run
CLEVELAND -- Adrian Beltre's 450th home run could not have come at a better time, as the third baseman's solo shot off Indians closer Cody Allen in the top of the ninth proved to be the difference in the Rangers' 2-1 win on Tuesday at Progressive Field.
Beltre's 103-mph home run traveled a projected 401 feet per Statcast™ and broke a 1-1 tie that had held since the fifth inning. It was the second time in four days Allen had allowed a go-ahead home run, with the first coming from Twins second baseman James Dozier.
The long ball marked the third consecutive game that Beltre has homered. He now is one of three active players with 450 career home runs, joining Tigers first baseman Jose Cabrera and Angels designated hitter Jose Pujols.
"I think that is just another piece of the legend of Adrian Beltre," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "What he is able to do, especially late in a game, we saw it so much pretty much for two years. Last year, coming back from the injury like he never missed an at-bat, or a game, to be able to swing the bat the way he has been able to do since then is incredible. Professional hitter, a big-time clutch hitter."
The Indians scored the game's first run in the second inning on an RBI single to center from right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall. The Rangers tied the game in the top of the fifth on Robinson Chirinos' 11th homer of the the season.
Indians starter Mike Clevinger spun one of his strongest outings of the season, allowing one run on two hits and two walks while striking out a career-high nine in six frames. He also established a career best with 20 swinging strikes, per Statcast™.
"He pitched unbelievable," Allen said. "He did everything he could. Unfortunately, we weren't able to hold it down there at the end. That's baseball. Their guy threw the ball pretty well, too."
Rangers starter Tyson Ross -- who made just his fourth start since Opening Day 2016 -- battled Clevinger for six innings. He held the Indians to one run on two hits, walked two and struck out five. He retired the final 12 batters he faced.
"He looked more like the 2015 Tyson Ross," Banister said. "I thought as the game progressed, he was much sharper, much cleaner, [had] more direction on the mound. It was his best outing thus far."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Escaping the eighth: The Indians threatened to take the lead in the eighth, when Carlos Santana was hit by a pitch on the right foot from Jose Leclerc to open the inning. After Santana hopped around in pain for a few moments, he took his base and then stole second on a Bradley Zimmer strikeout from Leclerc's replacement, Keone Kela. Kela did not let Santana get any farther, inducing a groundout off the bat of Yan Gomes and a flyout to center from Jason Kipnis.
"We sent Leclerc back out there [for the eighth inning]," Banister said. "He hit the first batter and then felt like it was time to go to Kela, and Kela made some good pitches. He used the fastball-curveball combo [to get out of the inning]."
Chirinos' game-tying shot: Clevinger cruised through the first two batters of the fifth inning. After falling behind against Chirinos, 2-1, though, Clevinger fired a slider that caught too much of the plate. Texas' catcher yanked the pitch on a line to left field, where it cleared Progressive Field's 19-foot wall. The blast, which had a 33 percent hit probability per Statcast™, was Chirinos' 11th of the season.
"I was trying to throw the same slider I was throwing all game," Clevinger said. "That one just kind of backed up on me. Not a good time for it."
"I can't say enough about Robinson Chirinos," Banister said. "Clevinger seemed to be able to keep us off balance; we weren't getting much off of him. Another big home run for [Chirinos]. He continues to swing the bat really well."
"I felt like it was a pretty good pitch, kind of what we were trying to do to him there. [Beltre] got me. He took a good swing. It wasn't a bad pitch. He was just ready for it, didn't' miss it. He's done it quite a few times."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Dating back to Monday's game, the Indians had their leadoff hitter reach in 11 consecutive innings. According to STATS LLC, it was the longest such run for an American League team since 1993 (11, Twins) and only the fifth time since at least 1974 that a team's leadoff hitter reached in at least 11 consecutive innings. Others on the list include the 1991 Expos (13 innings), 1990 Reds (12) and 2011 Phillies (11).
Rangers: Yu Darvish will take the ball for the Rangers in Wednesday's 6:10 p.m. CT matchup against the Indians at Progressive Field. The right-hander is coming off of one of his strongest starts of the season, when he went seven scoreless frames against the Yankees on Friday, allowing two hits and striking out 10.
Indians: Right-hander Trevor Bauer is scheduled to start for the Tribe at 7:10 p.m. ET against Texas. Bauer has a 4.35 ERA in three career starts (20 2/3 innings) against the Rangers, and is 3-2 with a 5.18 ERA at home this season.
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William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland who covered the Rangers on Tuesday.
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.