Indians 7, Rangers 2

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—In the end, it turned out to be a good night for the Cleveland Indians.

They stretched their winning streak to four games, and then they got some good news from the trainer’s room when they learned that slugger Travis Hafner didn’t break his right hand, as had been feared.

Grady Sizemore went 3-for-3 with a homer and Jake Westbrook pitched seven strong innings to help the Indians beat the Texas Rangers 7-2 on Friday night.

The Indians got a scare in the eighth inning when Hafner left the game after he was hit on the hand by a pitch from Rangers left-hander C.J. Wilson.

X-rays were negative and Hafner is listed as day to day.

“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. “We were all worried that it might be broken. He was pretty upset.”

Hafner had an ugly bruise on the back of his hand after getting plunked with the bases-loaded pitch. Hafner left the clubhouse without talking to reporters.

It was Hafner’s 110th RBI of the season as a designated hitter, breaking the club record of 109 at that position set by Andre Thornton in 1982.

Hafner has club-high totals of 117 RBIs and 42 homers.

The Indians know they’d be in trouble without Hafner.

“You hate to say you have to rely on one guy but he’s been an anchor in this lineup,” Sizemore said. “He’s a guy who comes through in the clutch.”

In addition to his 21st homer, Sizemore added two doubles, walked twice and drove in two runs for Cleveland, which has won eight of nine.

The Indians have been out of the AL Central and AL wild-card races for months, but the recent surge is a positive sign for the future.

“It’s not an easy road to get into the playoffs,” Sizemore said. “We definitely had the talent. It’s an opportunity missed. We have to build for next year.”

Westbrook (12-8) won his third straight start, giving up two runs and seven hits. He struck out six and walked two to help the Indians pull within five games of .500 (64-69) for the first time since July 7.

The Indians had eight baserunners in the first two innings against Vicente Padilla (13-9) as Cleveland provided Westbrook with a 4-1 lead.

Padilla threw 112 pitches in 5 1-3 innings, allowing six runs and eight hits. He struck out five and walked three.

“(Padilla) came back to give us five-plus innings,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “He takes the ball every fifth day and has a chance to win 15, 16 games. What’s not to like?”

Ian Kinsler homered for Texas, which has lost seven of 11.

The Indians put five runners on base in the first inning and took a 3-0 lead on RBI singles by Victor Martinez, Ryan Garko and Jhonny Peralta.

Texas countered with a first-inning run on Carlos Lee’s RBI single but the Rangers left the bases loaded when Kinsler took a called third strike from Westbrook.

Westbrook had his sinker working as Texas had 13 groundball outs in the seven innings.

“The last time I pitched against them in April, they were real aggressive,” Westbrook said. “So I thought I had to mix it up a little more this time. After the first inning, I went back to my sinker. I was able to get them to hit the ball on the ground.”

Cleveland stretched its lead to 4-1 in the second on Sizemore’s homer, but Kinsler’s 10th homer in the fourth pulled Texas within 4-2.

Andy Marte’s RBI double in the sixth knocked out Padilla, and Sizemore greeted Ron Mahay with a run-scoring double to make it 6-2.

Notes

Peralta’s first-inning fielding error snapped a 41-game errorless streak. … Padilla picked Sizemore off first base in the fourth, the first pickoff by a Texas pitcher this season. … Padilla had his 134th strikeout in the fifth, surpassing his career high of 133 set last season with the Philadelphia Phillies. But Padilla failed to match a career-high with his 14th victory. … The Indians have won only two of their last 11 games in Arlington.

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