Rangers 12, Indians 4
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—With the playoffs again out of reach for the Texas Rangers, they can take care of personal achievements.
Gary Matthews Jr. scored three times, Michael Young and Mark Teixeira each drove in four runs and all three reached milestones Friday night as the Rangers began their final home series with a 12-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
After those top three batters in the lineup, cleanup hitter Carlos Lee hit two solo homers and added a sacrifice fly.
“You see what a formidable group they are,” manager Buck Showalter said. “We’re going through a period right now where all four of them seem to be locked in pretty good.”
Too late to matter this season, since the Rangers (78-76) will miss the playoffs for the seventh straight year.
“Even though we’re not in the race, we want to help each other out,” Young said. “The best way to do that is to win as many game as we can.”
Teixeira snapped out of a 7-for-45 slump with three run-scoring hits to go over 100 RBIs for the third straight season. His two-run homer in the third that put the Rangers ahead to stay was his 29th, his 20th since the All-Star break.
“That’s why you trust guys like him. When good players and good people struggle a little bit by their standards, you expected somebody is going to pay down the road,” Showalter said. “Mark has a real mature grip on the reality of a long season at a young age.”
Matthews went 2-for-4 and became only the second Rangers leadoff hitter to score 100 runs. The All-Star center fielder, who like Lee is eligible for free agency after the season, had his 10th multi-hit performance in the last 14 games — with 20 runs scored during that stretch.
Young had two two-run singles to match his career high with 99 RBIs.
Adam Eaton (7-4) won his fourth straight decision over five starts. Eaton, who missed the first 3 1/2 months of the season after surgery on the middle finger of his pitching hand, gave up three runs and 10 hits over 5 1-3 innings.
Only four of the eight runs allowed by Paul Byrd (9-9) were earned. He struck out three, walked one and hit a batter with a pitch in four innings.
“We didn’t help him out,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “He was down in the strike zone early. I felt he was making some decent pitches, and got a pitch up to Teixeira and one to Carlos.”
Matthews had an infield single in the first, stole a base and scored on Teixeira’s single. That was the 99th run for Matthews and 99th RBI for Teixeira.
The game was tied 1-all in the third when Teixeira homered and Lee followed with his first homer.
“If you play an entire season, you stay healthy, at the end of the year you’re going to put up numbers,” said Teixeira, whose 144 RBIs last year set a major league record for a switch-hitter. “I think 100 RBIs is one of those statistical points you look at and say, `OK, this is what I want to get to at least.”’
Lee’s homer leading off the seventh made it 9-3. He has eight homers in 52 games since being traded from Milwaukee in July, and 36 overall.
After reaching on a two-base error by first baseman Ryan Garko with two outs in the fourth, Matthews scored on Young’s first two-run single. Teixeira followed with an RBI-single.
The only other Texas leadoff hitter to score 100 runs was Oddibe McDowell, with 101 in 1986. Matthews matched that mark when he scored again on Lee’s sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Joe Inglett went 3-for-4, scoring Cleveland’s first run in the second when Hector Luna was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a triple. Inglett had an RBI-single in the sixth to chase Eaton, then Luna followed with a sacrifice fly.
Boston’s David Ortiz (21) is the only AL player with more home runs since the All-Star break than Teixeira. … Teixeira has 136 career homers, fifth-most in major league history for players through their first four seasons. He trails Joe DiMaggio by one. The top three on the list are Ralph Kiner (168), Albert Pujols (160) and Eddie Mathews (153). … Texas has hit back-to-back homers 11 times this season. … Indians C Victor Martinez stretched his hitting streak to nine games with a first-inning single. He is hitting .452 (14-for-31) during the streak.