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Rangers extinguish Cleveland in the heat to earn a series split

Photo: Michael Lark/Dallas Sports Fanatic

Rangers extinguish Cleveland in the heat to earn a series split

The Rangers and Indians concluded their four-game series Thursday afternoon. The Rangers turned to their ace, Mike Minor, after two tough starts by Adrian Sampson and Joe Palumbo. On Thursday, the Rangers tried to avoid losing a series for the first time since May 24-26 at Anaheim and losing a home series of three games or more for the first time in 2019. It was a scorching ninety one degrees at first pitch, but the Rangers got the job done in a quick 4-2 victory.

The Rangers struck in the opening inning when Elvis Andrus drove in Danny Santana with an RBI triple and later scored on a wild pitch. After only three baserunners in the first five innings, the Tribe added three base runners in the sixth and cut the Rangers lead in half with an RBI single from Jordan Luplow. Danny Santana and Elvis Andrus added insurance home runs in the eighth inning off Indians reliever AJ Cole. Santana homered to right field, and Andrus homered to left field. It was Danny’s third homer in the four-game series against Cleveland and Elvis’ ninth career home run against the Tribe. Elvis went two for four on the day and raised his career average against Cleveland to .368 (99 for 269). Overall, the Rangers hit seven extra-base hits (eight hits total).

Mike Minor brought his “A” game on Thursday. Minor pitched eight strong innings, allowed only three hits and one run. However, he did walk two of the first five batters he faced but settled down after a few innings. Minor did endure a lengthy 22 pitch sixth inning thanks to two seven-pitch at-bats by Carlos Santana and Leonys Martin. Though Mike limited the damage to one lone run in the sixth. Thursday was the fourth start this season for Minor to pitch eight innings or more and his eighth start allowing one run or less. Shawn Kelley finished the afternoon to close. Kelley did give up a solo home run to Carlos Santana, but eventually closed the door, earning his ninth save.  Mike Minor was a little critical on his outing Thursday. “I still had too many walks.” Minor said. “I felt good about the short innings and I knew I could go deep into the game as long as I kept making pitches as we add on.”

Indians starter Shane Bieber settled down after allowing four extra-base hits in the first eight batters of the game. Bieber pitched six innings, allowed six hits, two runs, and no walks. It was the third start in his last four that Bieber allowed two earned runs, the previous two starts he went seven or more innings. By taking the loss, it was the first time since his first start of the season that Shane Bieber took a loss and allowed two or fewer runs (March 31 at Minnesota).

It was an eventful afternoon for the Rangers infielders. Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus made two dazzling plays with assistance from a great split-stretch from Ronald Guzman. I asked Chris Woodward after the game about the defense and drastic change from a year ago. “We really challenge [the defense] on understanding how we’re pitching guys.” Woody added, “They’re executing plays, anytime a ball is hit on the ground I feel like it’s an out.” Asdrubal Cabrera’s afternoon got cut short. Home plate umpire Doug Eddings ejected Cabrera in the bottom of the sixth inning after a disagreement on a called third strike. Logan Forsythe replaced Cabrera at third base.

The Rangers begin a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox. The Rangers will send Ariel Jurado to the bump (4-3, 4.23 ERA) to counter Reynaldo Lopez (4-7, 6.31 ERA). 7:05 PM is the scheduled first pitch.

 

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. My baseball memory bank is dominated by the Texas Rangers with the other 29 franchises sprinkled in. In addition, I enjoy NFL Sunday afternoons and only the first NCAA tournament weekend.

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