Cleveland 8, Texas 3
When: 8:05 PM ET, Friday, May 15, 2015
Where: Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
Joe West, 1B -
Gabe Morales, 2B -
David Rackley, 3B -
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cleveland Indians designated hitter Nick Swisher knew it was just a matter of time.
That time came Friday night, as he led a rare offensive outburst in the Indians' 8-3 victory over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park.
"I had everything together, and I was feeling good," Swisher said. "And all of a sudden I come here and I feel like I have to create stuff, like I have to do something. Tonight was just me being me, not feeling like I've got to hit a home run to get the crowd off their feet."
The Indians (13-21) beat Texas for 12th time in 13 games in the opener of the three-game series. Should they make it 13 of 14 on Saturday, it would mark the Cleveland's first series win and two-game winning streak since the opening series of the season.
Swisher collected three of the club's 12 hits, drove in his first three runs of the season and scored once. Second baseman Jason Kipnis went 4-for-5 and scored three times. Center fielder Michael Brantley had three hits, two RBIs and crossed the plate three times.
Cleveland had scored a total of six runs over the three previous games.
Texas (15-21) dropped two in a row and is 2-3 on its seven-game homestand. After a hot start that included home runs by designated hitter Prince Fielder and third baseman Adrian Beltre, the Rangers managed only two hits and no runs over the last 6 2/3 innings against five Cleveland relievers.
"They were really good," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "Everybody came in and did exactly what they were supposed to do."
Texas right fielder Shin-Soo Choo had his hitting streak snapped at 14 games after going 0-for-5.
In a battle of soft-throwing lefties, neither Cleveland starter Bruce Chen nor Texas' Wandy Rodriguez made it through five innings. They combined to allow eight runs on 15 hits, with Chen exiting in the third and Rodriguez (1-2) taking the loss.
Rodriguez was coming off three straight solid outings.
"The fastball he couldn't quite get it on the edge where he wanted it," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "More than anything else the breaking ball wasn't as sharp as we've seen. I think those two factors were the difference tonight for Wandy."
Indians reliever Ryan Webb (1-0) picked up the win by tossing two shutout innings after coming in for Chen.
The Indians, beginning a seven-game road trip, also touched up Texas reliever Kyuji Fujikawa for three runs in the sixth. Catcher Brett Hayes opened the inning with a solo homer to left, his third of the year.
The Indians hit Rodriguez hard to open the game, taking a 2-0 lead.
Kipnis, batting leadoff, lined a single to left before Brantley and Swisher smashed run-scoring doubles.
The lead didn't last long. Fielder and Beltre launched back-to-back home runs off Chen in the bottom of the first to put the home team up 3-2.
Fielder's blast to right-center, scoring shortstop Elvis Andrus, was his fifth of the season. Beltre's was the 400th of his career, leading to a congratulatory banner being unveiled beyond center field and a curtain call for the fans.
"It was nice for fans to acknowledge it," said Beltre, who went 2-for-4. "I'm pretty proud of what I've done. The banner was really nice, too, but it would have felt a lot better if we would have won the game tonight."
Beltre ended Chen's night in the third with a one-out double into the left-field corner. Chen gave up three runs on seven hits.
Swisher scored to tie the game 3-3 in the fourth on third baseman Zach Walters' single to left.
Swisher struck again with this third hit off Rodriguez in the fifth, a two-out single to right to give Cleveland a 5-3 advantage. Rodriguez didn't get out of the inning as he was yanked one batter later.
NOTES: The Indians have also claimed the last nine series against the Rangers and Houston Astros. ... Rangers SS Elvis Andrus opened his career with a 39-game hitting streak against the Indians. He has hit safely in 44 of 45 career games against Cleveland. ... Cleveland OF David Murphy was 12-for-25 with seven extra-bases hits last year against Texas, his former team. ... Texas OF Shin-Soo Choo, a former Indian, entered Friday with a 14-game hitting streak. ... Cleveland INF Zach Walters made his first start of the season at third base.
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