The Rangers gave the Indians every opportunity to win Friday night’s series opener, and the Tribe took advantage of those chances, walking away with a 12-2 victory over Texas. Danny Salazar kept the Rangers at bay for six innings, allowing one run on four hits and three walks, while striking out four. Meanwhile, Jerome Williams got rocked by the Tribe, giving up ten earned runs in four innings. The Indians collected thirteen hits and three walks, striking out just twice against the Texas right-hander. With plenty of offense to back up Salazar’s strong pitching performance, the Rangers never had a chance.
Bottom of the 4th, Indians lead 3-0
Michael Brantley got things started with an RBI double in the first inning, but it wasn’t until the fourth that the Indians truly broke it open. A pair of one-out singles by David Murphy and Ryan Raburn set the table for Mike Aviles to hit an RBI single to right field. Brantley followed with an RBI single of his own, but Aviles was thrown out trying to go from first to third on the play. He was originally called safe, but Texas challenged it and the play was overturned to end the inning.
Bottom of the 5th, Indians lead 5-1
The Tribe sent ten men to the plate in the fifth inning, removing any doubt over who would win the game. Carlos Santana led off the inning with a walk, and Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Swisher followed with singles to load the bases. Yan Gomes had an RBI single before two more runners scored on Murphy’s double to right field. After Nathan Adcock came in to relieve Williams, the Rangers finally got the first out of the inning. But Adcock walked Jason Kipnis, then allowed a run on a wild pitch and gave up yet another RBI single to Aviles to put the Tribe up 11-1
Bottom of the 6th, Indian s lead 11-1
Although the game was firmly out of reach for Texas, Chisenhall added to the damage with a solo blast off of pitcher Phil Klein to lead off the sixth inning.
Brantley, Chisenhall and Murphy returned to their old selves for at least one night, going 3-for-4, 2-for-5 and 4-for-4, respectively. In fact, each member of the starting lineup had at least one hit and scored one run. Austin Adams pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit and striking out a batter in the process, and Danny Salazar threw his second consecutive quality start.
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– Texas is 23.5 games back from Oakland in the AL West. Comparatively, the Tribe’s 6.5 games back from Detroit seems much less daunting. In the Wild Card standings, the Indians are five games behind.