The Texas Rangers rallied from three runs down to beat the Cleveland Indians 7-4 in a battle of division leaders on Thursday.
Central leaders Cleveland scored three runs in the second inning before Texas, leaders of the West division, got to Indians starter Carlos Carrasco in the fifth, scoring three runs. The Rangers scored three more in the sixth to end Carrasco’s game.
The bottom of the Rangers’ batting order, led by Nelson Cruz, Yorvit Torrealba and Endy Chavez, did most of the damage.
Carrasco was working on a one-hitter until Cruz led off the fifth inning with a double and scored on a ground out by Torrealba. Chavez, who was called up from the minor leagues in the middle of last month, extended the inning with a two out single and also scored.
Cruz sparked the Rangers again in the sixth inning with his second leadoff double and Torrealba again drove him in. Chavez tripled and scored on a wild pitch and throwing error by the catcher Carlos Santana.
“He [Chavez] has given us a huge shot in the arm,” designated hitter Michael Young said. “He has given us a big boost, he plays great defense and gets us going with a lot of energy.”
Texas scored another run in the ninth inning.
Reliever Mike Kirkman picked up his first Major League win, pitching three strong innings in relief and allowing one hit — a solo homer by Matt LaPorta in the seventh.
“It’s exciting,” Kirkman said. “Every kid dreams about winning in the big leagues. Hopefully there is a lot more to come.”
Carrasco took the loss, allowing six runs on eight hits.
“His [Carrasco’s] changeup and breaking balls were up in the zone,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “Even his fastball was up in the zone. He just wasn’t able to finish guys off.”
In other AL action, it was:
‧ Minnesota 8, Kansas City 2
‧ Seattle 8, Tampa Bay 2
In the NL, it was:
‧ NY Mets 9, Pittsburgh 8
‧ San Francisco 12, St Louis 7
‧ Washington 6, Arizona 1
‧ Houston 7, San Diego 4