May 25, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (47) pitches in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Indians Drop Series Opener 6-4 Against Texas Rangers

The Indians picked up exactly where they left off on the road, falling 6-4 to the Rangers in Arlington on Friday night. The Tribe has struggled whenever they are away from the confines of Progressive Field this season, and the series opener against Texas was no exception.  Trevor Bauer got off to a shaky start, allowing four runs in the second inning, but settled in and pitched 6 1/3 innings without any other damage. He gave up five hits and two walks, striking out six. Texas ace Yu Darvish had to work harder to keep his team in the game — allowing four runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out eight batters in seven innings – but the Rangers right-hander walked away with the win in the end.

Key Innings
Bottom of the 2nd, tied 0-0
Bauer got into trouble right away in the second inning, when Alex Rios singled to left field. Chris Gimenez followed with a double, and Leonys Martin drove the run in with a sacrifice fly to center. With two outs, it looked like Bauer might escape, but he gave up a hit to Michael Choice, and Rougned Odor crushed a pitch to the seats in right field to give Texas the 4-0 lead.

Top of the 3rd, Indians trail 4-0
Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis singled in the third inning to put runners at first and third for Lonnie Chisenhall. After working a full count, Chisenhall blasted the ball off the right-field foul pole for a three-run home run.

Bottom of the 7th, tied 4-4
Cabrera tied the game with a solo home run in the fourth inning, but it didn’t last. Reliever Marc Rzepczynski came on to pitch for Bauer in the seventh, and Choice promptly hit a solo shot of his own. The Rangers added on another run in the 8th, but the Texas bullpen shut down the Tribe’s offense for the rest of the night.

The Positives

Bauer’s final line might not reflect it, but he did an excellent job of keeping both himself and his team in the game. Friday was the beginning of a ten game road trip for an Indians team that has been a disaster whenever they are away from home. Bauer managed to pitch well enough to limit the amount of innings needed from the bullpen, which is important since there are no off days in the near future. He also kept the damage confined to one inning – albeit a four-run inning – and didn’t struggle as much with his command as he has in the past.

The Negatives

Excluding the long ball, the offense struggled to get timely hits in Friday’s game. In the sixth inning, the Tribe led off with a pair of singles, but the next two batters struck out and were unable to move the runners over. The Indians weren’t able to score, and the Rangers plated the winning run the very next inning.

Check It Out

– Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus continued his nearly-unprecedented hitting streak against the Tribe. Vladmir Gurrero is now the only major league player who has ever had a longer streak against any one team, when he hit in 44 straight games against Texas. With Friday’s hit, Andrus tied Jacoby Ellsbury’s 38-game streak against the Orioles.

– The Rangers have suffered from a myriad of injury woes this season, and are already seven games back from the league-leading Oakland Athletics. Despite having Yu Darvish, the Rangers’ 1.45 WHIP is the highest in the AL. The A’s, Mariners and Angels have the lowest WHIP in the AL, and even the lowly Astros rank eighth. The Rangers are also 14th in ERA, at 4.37, so they have a long way to go to catch up with their division.

– Strikeout update: The Tribe’s pitching staff now has 550 K’s on the season. The Dodgers – whose rotation includes Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke – trail the Indians by 17 strikeouts.

Tags: Cleveland Indians Trevor Bauer

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