"I think it's always significant any time you can win a season series against any club, especially when it's a club with playoff implications also," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "They're playing for the same thing we're playing for -- to be able to win their division and go and grind it out. So, yes, there is some significance."
A.J. Griffin kept the Indians off-balance through six innings thanks to what he said were some of his best changeups all year. He delivered his first quality start since May 2 in front of a nearly filled Globe Life Park.
"A little bit of a playoff atmosphere, I suppose, tonight," Griffin said. "It was pretty packed out there, and the fans were into it. At this time of year, you just got to go out there and play ball every night as best as you can. When everyone's doing that, things click, good things happen, and the team wins."
First baseman Mitch Moreland sent the Rangers on their way to victory with a first-inning grand slam that was projected to travel 443 feet into the right-field seats, per Statcast™. He wasn't aware that the Rangers had taken the season series from the Indians (Texas took two of three in Cleveland back on May 30-June 1).
"I kind of tried to put my blinders on a little bit and execute my game plan with my pitches and keep them off-balance in between speeds," Griffin said. "[The early lead] is huge, though. That was a big grand slam that Mitch hit in the first inning, for sure."
Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas.