Rangers Blow Big Lead In Loss To Indians

By Jim Ingraham, The Sports Xchange

CLEVELAND — It started with a big momentum swing one way, and then an even bigger one the other way.
Trailing by seven runs after the top of the fourth inning, the Cleveland Indians rallied for 13 unanswered runs in a wild 15-9 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday night at Progressive Field.
“What a team effort,” said Indians bench coach Brad Mills, who was the acting manager after Terry Francona became ill and had to leave the dugout in the fifth inning. “All the clutch hits and all the clutch plays, and the ‘pen doing a great job. What was so cool is the way everyone came together and did such a good job.”
It was the largest comeback for Cleveland since also rallying from a seven-run deficit at Seattle on April 7, 2012. It was the largest blown lead for Texas since it blew a seven-run lead in a 16-12 loss at Kansas City on June 8, 2006.

Texas hit four home runs to none for Cleveland, but the Indians pounded five Rangers pitchers for 19 hits. With the exception of Jason Kipnis, every hitter in the Cleveland lineup had two or more hits.
Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall had three RBIs each.
“It’s awesome. This is the best win of the year,” Chisenhall said. “Especially coming back early and showing that fight, chipping away, chipping away and breaking through.”
For Texas, Elvis Andrus had three hits, including two home runs and four RBIs, and Adrian Beltre hit a three-run homer.
Cleveland reliever Bryan Shaw (2-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. Six Cleveland pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts.
After an early exit by starter Carlos Carrasco, five Indians relievers combined to strike out 10 in 5 2/3 innings, allowing just three hits and one run.
Texas reliever Tanner Scheppers (0-1) gave up three runs without retiring a batter in the sixth inning to take the loss.
“When you score nine runs, you expect to win a baseball game, but it didn’t happen, and it doesn’t feel good,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said.
The Rangers led 7-1 after two innings and 9-2 in the fourth, but Cleveland scored a total of 12 runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The Indians took the lead for good during a five-run sixth inning.
With the Indians trailing by two entering the sixth, Santana’s RBI single cut it to 9-8. Chisenhall followed with a two-run single off Scheppers to give Cleveland a 10-9 lead.
An RBI single by Lindor and a sacrifice fly by Kipnis completed the five-run rally that gave Cleveland a 12-9 lead.
The Indians added three more runs in the seventh on RBI doubles by Santana, Roberto Perez and Bradley Zimmer.
Mills said the Indians were not discouraged by the big early deficit.
“It was early enough that the guys realized there was still enough time to come back,” he said. “But something has to happen to start the (momentum) swing.”
That something was a barrage of Cleveland hits.
In the fifth and sixth innings, Indians hitters were 8-for-13 (.615) while scoring nine runs.
“We brought in (relievers) who got ground balls, but they were ground balls that weren’t hit to anybody,” Banister said. “We were unable to record outs when we needed to.”
The biggest stat of the night, however, was at-bats with runners in scoring position. Texas was 3-for-5 in those situations. Cleveland was 11-for-28 (.393).
The 28 at-bats with runners in scoring position was the most by the Indians in a game since 1974.
“Once we got the (momentum) swing started, we kept it going, with the quality of our at-bats and how well the balls were hit,” Mills said.
Banister said, “We gave up 28 at-bats with runners in scoring position. That’s the real story. We couldn’t stop the bleeding.”
Neither starting pitcher was around for long. Carrasco lasted 3 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs on six hits, all of them for extra bases.
Texas starter Cole Hamels allowed seven runs and eight hits over 4 1/3 innings in his return from a strained right oblique. It was Hamels’ first start since April 26.
“First game back, he lacked command and didn’t throw many first-pitch strikes,” Banister said.
A three-run blast in the first inning by Beltre, a three-run homer by Andrus in the second, and solo home runs by Joey Gallo and Andrus in the fourth gave the Rangers a 9-2 lead that seemed safe.
It wasn’t.

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