ARLINGTON, Texas — Cleveland didn’t do much with its 10 hits against Texas, but the Indians still grabbed what they came for on Sunday.
Indians pitcher Justin Masterson quieted the Rangers lineup and the Cleveland offense was productive enough in a 3-2 victory at Globe Life Park.
Masterson allowed two runs and struck out six in 5 2/3 innings. He could have easily been even better as one of the runs came on a wild pitch and Masterson struck out Rangers first baseman Donnie Murphy on the next pitch after the wild one.
Indians right fielder and former Ranger David Murphy drove in the difference-making run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth. He also had a seeing-eye double that fell between three fielders in the eighth. All told, Murphy went 2-for-4 and wasn’t too concerned with Cleveland’s run-to-hit ratio.
“At the end of the day, when you look back you don’t look back and really care,” Murphy said. “The sac fly was the big at bat. Fortunately, I drove in the run. The double was kind of lucky it just fell in there.”
Cleveland pushed ahead with a pair of runs on two hits and a Rangers error in the top of the sixth. Designated hitter Ryan Raburn singled to center to score catcher Yan Gomes and right fielder David Murphy’s sacrifice fly to deep center scored third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall.
Texas scored a run in the bottom of the sixth when right fielder Alex Rios hit a
one-out triple to drive in third baseman Adrian Beltre. But the Rangers couldn’t get Rios home from third to tie it.
The Rangers managed to take the lead with a run in the bottom of the fourth despite not hitting the ball very hard. Beltre posted the Rangers’ first hit with an infield single to shortstop. Rios followed with a looper to left that fell in front of Indians left fielder Michael Brantley. Texas loaded the bases when catcher Chris Gimenez walked and, though Beltre was forced out at home, Rios scored on a wild pitch.
“It was way out there,” Masterson said. “It really went wild. It is tough because you go back to we’ve been doing really good with the sinker. Why didn’t we just stick with the sinker?”
But Masterson struck out Murphy to end the inning and strand three Rangers runners.
Murphy was playing in place of Mitch Moreland, whom the Rangers announced would have surgery on his left ankle. The Rangers already led the majors in DL uses and players on the disabled list. To make matters worse, second baseman Rougned Odor left the game with a strained right shoulder after being picked off at first in the fifth.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said he didn’t want to sound jaded, but he is determined to keep moving forward with whatever healthy players remain on his roster.
“You prepare for the ballgame and that’s all you can do,” Washington said. “They’re quite aware of what we’ve lost this year. But, once again, it gives those players an opportunity to step up. I don’t want to seem like I don’t care, but we’ve got 98 ballgames to play. We’ve got to focus on the games we’re playing right now with the personnel i have right now.”
The Indians answered in the top of the fifth when shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera singled to center to score Chisenhall. But, like the Rangers, Cleveland left the bases loaded, which left the game tied at 1.