Young over 100 RBIs in Texas’ 7-4 win over Indians
Giving that free pass to Hamilton and loading the bases in the fifth inning only briefly delayed a big blast by the AL West-leading Rangers.
Young delivered a three-run double to go over 100 RBIs for the second time in his career, and Adrian Beltre(notes) immediately followed with a two-run homer as Texas went on to a 7-4 victory Thursday night, completing a three-game sweep and extending its division lead to 3 1/2 games over the idle Los Angeles Angels.
“I don’t take those things personally. I just try to focus on my job,” Young said. “At that point we’re really making sure we’re trying to push one across. I was just trying to get something to the outfield. Worst-case scenario, sacrifice fly scores a run.”
Texas (86-64) moved to 22 games over .500 for the first time since 1999, and will now play nine of its final 12 games on the road, starting Friday night at Seattle.
Cleveland’s loss cut Detroit’s magic number for clinching the AL Central to one. The Tigers lost 6-1 at Oakland later Thursday.
“All you can think is you failed to achieve your goal, which is to win the division,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “You play to win the division. So you get your head up, play for second place or above .500. You have to shift gears and have another goal.”
Hamilton hit his 22nd homer in the seventh.
The 40th double of the season for Young, now primarily the Rangers’ designated hitter, pushed him within two RBIs of his career high set five years ago. Young is only three hits shy of his seventh 200-hit season.
“What a year,” manager Ron Washington said. “It doesn’t matter where I put him in that lineup, he delivers.”
Endy Chavez(notes) opened the Texas fifth with an infield single before his second stolen base of the game. Ian Kinsler(notes) then walked before Elvis Andrus’(notes) sacrifice bunt brought up Hamilton, the reigning AL MVP who hit a grand slam Wednesday night after also going deep in the series opener.
“Like any team that has depth, pick your poison,” Washington said. “I think any manager would have did what he did, not pitch to Josh. But he had to deal with Michael, had to deal with Beltre.”
Alexi Ogando(notes) (13-8) allowed only two singles while throwing six scoreless innings. The All-Star right-hander struck out four and walked two while winning for the first time in a month. He had been 0-3 in five starts since his last win Aug. 15 at the Angels.
Ogando was nearly flawless, except for a 39-pitch second inning when he got out of bases-loaded jam with consecutive strikeouts after both of his walks. He faced the minimum three batters the other five innings he pitched, getting Ezequiel Carrera(notes) to ground into an inning-ending double play after Jason Kipnis(notes) singled in the sixth.
Washington said Ogando’s “competitive juices” kicked in after he probably came within one batter of making an early exit.
“Sometimes during the game you have times like that during an inning. I was going too much to my left side on my fastball,” Ogando said through an interpreter. “That’s why I couldn’t control those pitches. You can’t do anything else. You have to think about what you were doing wrong. When they came and talked to me, that’s what happened. I was able to fix it and worked my way to do it.”
Ogando had already thrown 52 pitches after he struck out Lonnie Chisenhall(notes) and Lou Marson(notes) to get out of the second. He needed only 40 more pitches to get through the next four innings, and had his longest outing in his last five starts.
Carmona, an AL All-Star last season, is 0-3 with a 6.97 ERA over his last six starts. Against the Rangers, the right-hander struck out three, walked five, and gave up seven hits and five earned runs over six innings. He also threw a wild pitch.
Texas got its first run after Chavez had a leadoff single in the third to snap his 0-for-13 slide. He then got to third on a stolen base and a throwing error by catcher Marson before scoring on a single by Andrus.
NOTES: The Rangers went 9-1 against Cleveland this season, outscoring the Indians 68-32. Texas has won 21 of 25 in the series over the past three seasons. … Andrus has hit in all 23 of his games against Cleveland. … Texas had only nine hits, ending its club record streak of consecutive 12-hit games at seven. … Cleveland scored twice in the ninth off closer Neftali Feliz(notes), who was pitching for the first time since Saturday. … Actor Jonah Hill, a co-star in the upcoming movie “Moneyball,” threw out the ceremonial first pitch. … Texas is 49-29 at home.