Martinez, Moreland carry Rangers past Tribe
Thanks to a gritty outing from Nick Martinez and strong work out of the bullpen, the Rangers avoided a series sweep with a 5-1 win against the Indians on Sunday at Globe Life Park.
Martinez went five innings and surrendered only one run despite allowing at least one runner to reach base in each of his innings. He got just enough help from the Rangers' offense to pick up his third win of the year.
Indians starter Carlos Carrasco went seven innings, but a pair of big hits from Mitch Moreland and an RBI single from Prince Fielder allowed the Rangers to bring home four runs. Texas got more insurance in the eighth when Adrian Beltre's flyout to the right-field wall -- caught by a leaping David Murphy -- scored Delino DeShields.
Cleveland went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position off Martinez, and the Indians didn't fare any better in the late innings. After Ross Ohlendorf and Tanner Scheppers pitched a combined three innings of spotless relief, Shawn Tolleson came in to seal the deal in the ninth, allowing only one hit.
"The last couple of games have been pretty tough," Moreland said. "To come out today and get a win for us and hopefully carry that momentum into a road trip -- I think that was a big one."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Moreland goes deep: The Rangers were leading in a 2-1 dogfight in the sixth when Moreland hit a home run just over the center-field wall to give Texas room for comfort. Moreland's two-run homer was his second of the season and his first since being activated from the disabled list Wednesday. More >
Wasted opportunities: The Indians reached base 13 times -- once more than the Rangers -- but could not convert those baserunners into runs. They went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, the lone hit coming from Michael Brantley on an RBI double in the 5th. That put runners on second and third with no out, but Lonnie Chisenhall popped out to the catcher and Brandon Moss struck out. After Nick Swisher was intentionally walked to load the bases, Michael Bourn struck out looking on a full count to end the inning. The Indians left nine on base. More >
Callups pay off: Ohlendorf and Scheppers, both brought to the Majors on Sunday, got the Rangers to the ninth inning unscathed. Ohlendorf sent the Indians down 1-2-3 in the sixth in his first big league appearance since 2013, and Scheppers pitched two innings of perfect relief to help preserve the win.
"It was not unlike games we've been playing," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We just happened to have 1-2-3 innings late that were really a shot in the arm for us, something we haven't had in a while. It was really nice to see Ohlendorf and Scheppers and those guys come in and shut the door for us." More >
Carrasco roughed up: For the fourth time in his last five starts, Carrasco allowed at least four runs. The right-hander turned in his longest outing this year, lasting eight innings but giving up five runs on seven hits, striking out nine and walking two. Five of the seven hits he surrendered came in the second, when Moreland had an RBI double off the right-field wall, and in the sixth, when Moreland hit a two-run home run to center. After going 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA in his first three starts this season, Carrasco is 2-3 with a 5.91 ERA in his last five. More >
"That was the definition of 'effectively wild' today. At one point, he had 28 balls and 28 strikes. But he got the outs when he needed to. That's the crucial part about it, regardless of how many guys you let on base, if you never let them cross the plate, you're doing your job. … We didn't really expect the kitchen sink to be thrown out starting in the first inning." -- Swisher, on Martinez
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Rangers are 0-5-1 in home series this season. Sunday's win against the Indians pushed their record at Globe Life Park to 6-13. This is the Rangers' longest winless stretch in home series to begin a season.
Jason Kipnis reached base three times for the eighth straight game, setting a club record and becoming the sixth to do it in American League history. The only two in AL history with a longer such streak are Lou Gehrig (9 straight from May 27 to June 4, 1937) and Ty Cobb (10 straight from June 1-12, 1925).
There were two replay reviews in the game, the first coming after Moreland's RBI double off the top of the right-field fence in the second inning. The crew chief review lasted 51 seconds and confirmed the call. Murphy's leaping catch up against the left-field wall, which resulted in a sacrifice fly for Beltre but robbed him of extra bases, in the eighth was challenged by the Rangers. That call was also confirmed in a review that lasted 2 minutes and 8 seconds.
Indians: Corey Kluber will face the White Sox in Monday's series opener at 7:10 p.m. CT at U.S. Cellular Field. Kluber will try to pick up where he left off in his last start, when he struck out 18 in eight shutout innings while allowing only hit and walking none.
Rangers: After an off-day Monday, the Rangers travel to play the Red Sox on Tuesday at 6:10 p.m. CT. Starter Yovani Gallardo is 3-5 with a 3.94 ERA this season and went seven innings to get the win in his last start, against the Royals.
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