Indians 6, Rangers 5
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Kevin Kouzmanoff, subbing for injured slugger Travis Hafner, hit a grand slam on the first major league pitch he faced, and the Cleveland Indians went on to stretch their winning streak to five games with a 6-5 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.
With Hafner out due to a bruised right hand, Kouzmanoff made a smashing major league debut as a designated hitter a few hours after he was called up from Triple-A Buffalo.
Grady Sizemore led off the game with a homer for the fourth time this season and seventh of his career.
Later in the first, the Indians loaded the bases against Rangers starter Edinson Volquez (1-4). Kouzmanoff knocked Volquez’s first pitch over the center field wall to give the Indians a 5-0 lead.
Volquez allowed eight baserunners in 1 2-3 innings, giving up six runs and five hits.
Kouzmanoff became the third player in major league history with a grand slam in his first at bat. The others are Jeremy Hermida for the Florida Marlins against St. Louis Cardinals on Aug. 31, 2005, and Bill Duggleby for Philadelphia Phillies against the New York Giants on April 21, 1898.
Kouzmanoff joins Hermida, Duggleby and Bobby Bonds (on June 25, 1968 for the San Francisco Giants against the Los Angeles Dodgers) as the only players with grand slams in their first major league game.
Cleveland, which has won nine of 10, padded its advantage to 6-0 in the second on Victor Martinez’s sacrifice fly.
Indians starter Cliff Lee (11-10) allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Tom Mastny pitched the ninth for his fifth save in as many chances despite allowing a run. Gerald Laird led off the ninth with a single and went to third on Kinsler’s double. After Nelson Cruz grounded out, Matthews Jr. singled in Laird but right fielder Casey Blake threw out Kinsler at home on a close play.
The Indians’ longest winning streak of the season is six games, accomplished twice. … Cleveland has 12 grand slams this season, tying the 1999 club record. … Hafner has six grand slams this season to equal the major league record. … The Indians are within four games of .500 (65-69) for the first time since July 4 when they were 39-43. … The Rangers have lost eight of 12. … Lee had been 1-4 with three no-decisions since July 13.