ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Cleveland started the game last in the AL with a .239 team batting average. Perfect conditions for hitting and another perfectly dreadful pitching performance by the Texas Rangers perked up the Indians' offense.
Ryan Garko drove in a career-high six runs, David Dellucci hit a three-run homer and the Indians held on for a 15-9 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night.Dellucci, who had 29 homers for the Rangers in 2005, extended Cleveland's lead to 11-6 in the sixth inning against Elizardo Ramirez (0-1) with his sixth homer. It came one batter after Garko's two-run single had put the Indians in front.Garko, who had four hits, had another two-run single in the four-run seventh that padded Cleveland's lead to 15-6.Ramirez entered a 6-6 game, then was knocked around for eight runs and nine hits in 2 2/3 innings. He was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma earlier Wednesday. Ramirez left with a 30.38 ERA in his AL debut, throwing 70 pitches for a bullpen that was drained.Texas pitchers have allowed 48 runs in the last four games, 28 by relievers.Winds of 28 mph -- gusting to 35 mph -- and temperatures in the 90s created another night favorable to the offenses of the Rangers and Indians, who have scored 65 runs in the first three games of the four-game series."It's just a fun kind of opportunity," Garko said. "It's the opposite of Cleveland. In Cleveland, the wind is blowing in from right-center every day and it's freezing cold. You just want to go out and get a bat in your hands because it's hot and the ball will carry."Ben Francisco had a career-high five hits, and Grady Sizemore homered as the Indians set a season high for runs."We've been swinging the bats better lately," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "We're doing a much better job with runners in scoring position. We've been making a lot more consistent contact in the past week or so. That's really the key to heading in the right direction offensively."Cliff Lee (9-1) threw 112 pitches in five innings and left with the game tied at 6, then watched his teammates rally for five runs in the sixth to give him the victory that left him tied for the AL lead in wins.Lee, who struck out eight, began the night with an AL-best 1.88 ERA, but the Rangers got to him for six runs and nine hits."The ball definitely flies here," said Lee, whose ERA swelled to 2.45. "If you hit the ball in the air relatively decent, it has a chance to go out."Milton Bradley had a two-run homer for the Rangers -- his third in two games -- and drove in three runs. Texas' Josh Hamilton increased his league-leading RBI total to 68 with a run-scoring single in the third.Texas rallied for three runs in the ninth on Bradley's RBI single and Gerald Laird's two-run double to pull within 15-9."We kept fighting, but we couldn't get the shutdown inning," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.Sidney Ponson, starting on three days' rest for the first time in his 11-year career, lasted only four innings for the Rangers. Ponson allowed six runs -- only two earned because of three errors by his teammates -- and eight hits.In the first, Ian Kinsler extended his career-best hitting streak to 19 games with a leadoff triple and scored on Michael Young's groundout.Ponson was the victim of a four-run second, with Casey Blake scoring the first run on Bradley's fielding error in right field on Shin-Soo Choo's double. RBI singles by Francisco and Garko, and Victor Martinez's sacrifice fly extended Cleveland's lead to 4-1.Young's RBI double in the third -- one of his three hits -- stretched his hitting streak to 20 games, longest in the AL this season. Bradley launched a two-run shot with the help of the jet stream to give Texas a 5-4 lead.In the fourth, Sizemore's leadoff homer and Garko's RBI single sent Cleveland back in front 6-5.Brandon Boggs' RBI triple in the fifth tied it at 6 for Texas."We walked some guys, got some pitches up and they hit it hard," Laird said. "We've got to figure something out, do something different. You leave a pitch up, they hit it in the air, and it goes."
The Rangers will move RHP Vicente Padilla back into the rotation on Friday night to open a three-game series against Tampa Bay. Padilla is expected to return from his native Nicaragua on Thursday after attending to a personal family matter, missing one start. ... RHP Scott Feldman will be moved up to Saturday night in the Texas rotation and rookie RHP Doug Mathis will start Sunday. ... Hamilton's career-best streak of four games with a homer ended. ... Indians SS Astrubal Cabrera left the game in the fourth inning with a left hip strain.