Rangers 16, Indians 4
“Anytime you’re up 16-1, you never want to show the other team up, show too much on the field,” Teixeira said.
Teixeira went 4-for-5 and drove in a career-high seven runs in a 16-4 rout of the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night as the Rangers stretched their winning streak to five games and gave Scott Erickson his first victory in more than two years.
Teixeira hit a two-run double in the third, a three-run homer in the fourth, a two-run triple in the fifth, and a leadoff single in the seventh for the club’s first cycle since Oddibe McDowell accomplished the feat on July 23, 1985, against the Indians at Arlington Stadium.
“I was definitely happy and excited inside, but you don’t want to be celebrating in a situation like that,” Teixeira said.
The first baseman was removed for a pinch-runner after his single, leaving to a standing ovation from the crowd of 24,864 with his team ahead 16-1. He’s the fifth player to hit for the cycle this season, joining Milwaukee’s Chad Moeller, Pittsburgh’s Daryle Ward, Philadelphia’s David Bell and Eric Valent of the New York Mets.
The hardest part of the cycle for Teixeira, an average baserunner, was his first triple of the season—and fifth of his career.
“Triples are a weird thing, especially for a guy like me,” he said. “You need some bounces, you need a big outfield. For me, they’re few and far between.”
Before his at-bat in the seventh, his teammates made sure he knew he needed a single for the cycle.
“They were kidding me, telling me to trip over first base if I hit one into the gap,” Teixeira said. “I just wanted to swing at a good pitch. I didn’t want to get myself out on my last at-bat.”
Mench went 3-for-5 and came within a triple of the cycle.
“This gave us a chance to relax,” Mench said. “(The game) was a part of history.”
The Rangers’ 17-hit attack helped Erickson (1-2) win for the first time since Aug. 7, 2002, while with Baltimore. He allowed one run and three hits over six innings.
The Rangers acquired Erickson on July 31 in a trade with the New York Mets, and Erickson had lost his first two starts for Texas with a 6.30 ERA.
“There’s no better way to get your first win of the season than for a team trying to get into the playoffs,” said Erickson, who missed last season due to a shoulder injury and had a 7.88 ERA in two starts for the Mets this season.
“It was a relief to get all those runs,” he said. “I’m just glad the Rangers are giving me a chance to pitch on a regular basis.”
Doug Brocail pitched the final three innings for his first save since July 7, 1999, with Detroit.
Teixeira’s three-run homer in a seven-run fourth was his 29th, helping Texas remain a half-game behind Oakland in the AL West.
The loss dropped Cleveland 3 1/2 games behind Minnesota in the AL Central.
Cleveland starter Cliff Lee (10-5) allowed a career-high eight runs and seven hits in 3 1-3 innings. Lee is 0-4 in his last six starts, and hasn’t won since July 16.
The Indians, 1-7 against the Rangers, took a 1-0 lead in the second on Jody Gerut’s sacrifice fly.
Texas loaded the bases with no outs in the second and went in front 2-1 on sacrifice flys by Matthews and Gerald Laird.
The Rangers moved to a 5-1 advantage in a three-run third on Teixeira’s two-run double and Hank Blalock’s RBI double.
Matthews extended the lead to 12-1 with a three-run homer in Texas’ seven-run fourth.
The homer was Matthews’ 10th, giving the Rangers 10 players with at least 10 — matching the major league record last set by Cincinnati and Baltimore in 2000.
The Rangers continued the barrage against White in the fifth on Teixeira’s two-run triple and Mench’s two-run homer, making it 16-1.
White gave up three homers, eight runs and seven hits in 1 2-3 innings.
“(The Rangers) have had our number all season,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “We’ve got to separate ourselves from this, come out tomorrow and be ready to go.”
Rangers manager Buck Showalter got his 700th win. He’s 12th among active managers. … Cleveland DH Travis Hafner left for a pinch hitter in the fifth due to a sore right elbow. … The Rangers’ season-high for runs is 18 against Houston on July 4. … The most runs by an Indians opponent this season is 17 by Detroit on April 23. … Texas’ club record for RBIs in a game is nine by Ivan Rodriguez in 1999. … Texas is 37-19 at home, matching the best home record in club history after 56 games.