Rapid Reaction: Indians 5, Rangers 2
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers' offense had another rough night as the Cleveland Indians made it two out of three victories at Texas with a 5-1 victory on Wednesday night at Rangers Ballpark.
The Rangers have lost three straight series going back to last week against Boston and fell a half-game behind Oakland pending the A's outcome against the Yankees.
Tepesch hit hard: A nice run by rookie starter Nick Tepesch was halted as the Indians rocked him for eight hits, two of them home runs, in his third-shortest outing of the season. Tepesch, a ground-ball pitcher, struggled to keep the ball down, allowing a two-run home run by Mike Aviles in the second inning to put the Rangers down 2-0. Tepesch allowed another home run to start the fifth inning to Jason Kipnis, putting the Rangers in a 4-1 hole. Tepesch also hit two batters and walked one, with two of those leading to runs.
Martin goes deep: Leonys Martin had his second hit in 20 at-bats, a solo home run to right-center field to cut the Indians' lead to 3-1 in the third inning. It was Martin's first home run since May 12 and his first RBI since May 31.
Offense fizzles: The Rangers drew four walks in five innings against Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez and they didn't score any of them. The Rangers hit a low point in the bottom of the sixth. Lance Berkman walked and Adrian Beltre singled to start the inning and the Rangers failed to score. A.J. Pierzynski worked a full count but popped out to center field. Indians reliever Bryan Shaw came in and struck out Nelson Cruz with Berkman at third base, then got Jeff Baker to bounce into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
Murphy struggles again: A rough run for left fielder David Murphy continued on Wednesday night. He hit into his third double play in two days and went 0-for-5 for the game. Murphy has four hits in his past 34 at-bats. Murphy's batting average fell to .211, sixth lowest among all qualifiers in the American League.
Cruz gets hat trick: Nelson Cruz had three strikeouts in his final three at-bats, giving him 67 for the season as he moved closer to being in the top 10 in K's in the AL. He left three men on base.
Up next: The Rangers begin a four-game series as right-hander Yu Darvish (7-2, 2.75 ERA) faces Toronto right-hander Esmil Rogers (1-2, 3.80) at 7:05 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN-FM 103.3 and 1540-AM. The rest of the pitching matchups for the series are: Rangers right-hander Justin Grimm (5-4, 5.25) versus Mark Buehrle (2-4, 5.06) at 7:05 p.m. on Ch. 21; on Saturday, Rangers right-hander Josh Lindblom (0-1, 5.91) against right-hander Josh Johnson (0-2, 5.40) at 3:05 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest; and on Sunday, Rangers left-hander Derek Holland (5-3, 3.11) against Blue Jays right-hander R.A. Dickey (5-8, 5.11) at 2:05 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest. All games are broadcast on the radio at ESPN-FM 103.3 and 1540-AM.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.