Indians rally to win 6th straight, beat Texas 8-7
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Kelly Shoppach hasn’t exactly relished playing against his hometown team.
That changed when Shoppach hit a three-run homer and later got an infield single that set up the Indians’ tiebreaking run as Cleveland rallied from a six-run deficit to win their sixth straight Saturday night, beating the Texas Rangers 8-7.
The Indians catcher, who grew in nearby Fort Worth, came into the game with a .207 lifetime average against the Rangers.
“I’ve never played well here, so it was nice,” Shoppach said. “I told myself to play like I did when I was a kid. It was a very pleasing day.”
The Indians, who came into the game next-to-last in the American League in hitting, have struggled to score runs for most of the season. But they are averaging nearly eight runs in their winning streak.
After the Rangers scored six in the fourth to take a 7-1 lead, the Indians answered with six of their own in the fifth to tie it before Jamey Carroll put the Indians ahead in the eighth with a pinch-hit RBI single.
“You feel like it’s not over till it’s over,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “But it’s hard to expect to duplicate what they just did to you that soon.”
It was 7-all when Shoppach got an infield single with one out in the eighth off Jamey Wright (6-5). Pinch-runner Franklin Gutierrez advanced to second on a passed ball and Carroll, batting for Andy Marte, grounded a single past first baseman Hank Blalock.
Rafael Perez (3-3) worked a scoreless seventh and Jensen Lewis struck out the side in the ninth to earn his sixth save in seven chances. The Indians bullpen pitched 5 1-3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Jeremy Sowers.
“Give credit to the rest our bullpen,” Lewis said. “If they don’t shut down that offense, we never get to that point.”
Michael Young homered and drove in three runs for the Rangers, who lost for the 13th time in 16 games. His shot capped a six-run fourth and put Texas ahead 7-1.
Rangers starter Brandon McCarthy made his first appearance in the majors since last Sept. 20 and pitched four innings. The right-hander allowed three hits, struck out three and walked three.
McCarthy, recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma before the game, had been out since March 30 with right forearm inflammation. He was shut down after throwing one inning in spring training.
Because of a 1-hour, 14-minute rain delay before the game started, McCarthy threw a handful of extra warmup pitches. Rangers manager Ron Washington made a pregame decision to put a 75-pitch limit on McCarthy, who was disappointed he didn’t get a chance to pitch enough innings to earn the victory.
“I threw an extra 25 pitches in the bullpen,” said McCarthy, who finished with 75 pitches. “The decision makes sense, but it was something I didn’t want to hear at the time.”
After McCarthy left, the Indians scored six times in the fifth off the Texas bullpen to tie the game.
“I guessed and got lucky,” Shoppach said. “He threw it where I was swinging.”
Young’s run-scoring single in the third tied the game at 1 before the Rangers surged ahead in the fourth.