ARLINGTON -- The Texas Rangers’ struggles continued Wednesday night. Both
at the plate and on the mound. The Cleveland Indians took the series with a 5-2 win in front of
34,248 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Texas is 4-7 in June.
Rangers’ starter Nick Tepesch allowed five runs on eight hits, including two home runs, in five innings of work.
The Indians had Tepesch on the ropes nearly every inning. His defense bailed him out in the first when left fielder David Murphy threw out Michael Bourn trying to score from second on a two-out single. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski had the plate blocked and took Murphy’s throw on a line, which beat Bourn by a step. It was Murphy’s fifth outfield assist of the season.
With two outs in the second inning, however, Tepesch hit
Nick Swisher on a 1-2 pitch to set up Mike Aviles’ two-run shot to left to give
Cleveland a 2-0 lead.
The Indians padded their lead with a run in the third when Bourn scored on Michael Brantly’s single through the right side. It could have been worse, though. Two singles started the inning, but Tepesch was able to sandwich the run-scoring single with two strikeouts and fly out to limit the damage.
Leonys Martin led off the bottom of the third with his third homer of the season to pull Texas to within 3-1. Jurickson Profar followed with a single, but Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez was able to escape major trouble by forcing David Murphy into a 4-6-3 double play. After Lance Berkman and Adrian Beltre reached with a single and a walk, A.J. Pierzynski grounded out to first to squelch the rally.
Jason Kipnis homered to left on the first pitching of the fifth. Later, after Brantly walked, Carlos Santana doubled down the right-field line to give the Indians a 5-1 lead.
Tepesch retired the next two batters but his night was done. He walked one, hit two batters and had five strikeouts.
The Rangers (38-26) forced Jimenez from the game in the sixth after Berkman and Beltre reached base with no outs. Cleveland (31-33) relievers Rich Hall and Bryan Shaw forced a flyout from Pierzynski, struckout Nelson Cruz and induced a groundout from Jeff Baker to end the inning.
Another leadoff single from Chris McGuiness in the seventh
was wiped away with Martin’s 6-4-3 double play. Profar singled but David Murphy
flew out deep to right to end the inning.
Profar's double to right scored Martin in the ninth to make the scored 5-2 but Murphy flew out deep to centerfield to end the game.
Cleveland won 5-2 Tuesday after holding Texas to seven hits. The Rangers won the opener Monday 6-3.
In Wednesday's loss, the Rangers were held to eight hits and left nine men on base.
Texas begins a four-game series with Toronto Thursday in Arlington.
-- Stefan Stevenson