Indians halt eight-game slide

Sam Morton, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- For the first time since June 1, the Cleveland Indians can go to bed with a win under their belts.
Corey Kluber controlled the Texas lineup in the best start of his young career, pitching eight masterful innings and leading the Indians to a 5-2 win that snapped an eight-game losing streak and silenced a crowd of 45,200 at Rangers Ballpark.
"It's nice to hear music in the clubhouse," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "That's a welcome sound."
After giving up two first-inning singles -- one of which was a Lance Berkman bunt single -- the 27-year-old from nearby Coppell, Texas, silenced the Rangers by inducing 14 groundouts and three double plays. He also had three strikeouts.
"He worked ahead and took the sting out of their bats," Francona said. "They had an aggressive approach, but they had to respect his pitches."
Kluber said he just wanted to keep the ball down.
| "We talked about how they'd be a little aggressive, so keeping it down forced soft contact from them," he said.
The same can't be said for Texas starter Derek Holland, who struggled with inconsistency again. After striking out the side on 11 pitches in the first inning, Holland gave up nine hits and four runs in the next three innings.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said he isn't worried about Holland, who left in the fifth inning for his shortest start of the year.
"He gets 31, 32 starts a year," Washington said. "He's going to have his days where it just doesn't work out."
Holland ran into an Indians lineup eager to prove the skid isn't indicative of the team that led the American League Central 20 days ago. Cleveland now trails the Detroit Tigers by 5 1/2 games in the division.
Ryan Raburn, batting cleanup for the first time, gave the Indians their first lead when he laced a fourth-inning double down the left-field line. He scored later in the inning on Mark Reynolds' single.
The Rangers made it interesting in the ninth when A.J. Pierzynski belted a solo homer and Nelson Cruz drew a walk, but Cleveland reliever Joe Smith struck out Leonys Martin to seal the deal.
NOTES: Neither team was able to take batting practice on the field because a pipe that burst under the infield created a sinkhole behind the mound. ... Rangers prospect Joey Gallo hit three home runs for Class A Hickory against Hagerstown on Tuesday afternoon, with the first two coming off former Rangers draft pick Matt Purke. ... Elvis Andrus' first-inning single gave him a hit in 34 consecutive games against the Indians, the fourth-longest streak any player has had against a team since 1945. ... Cleveland RHP Carlos Carrasco will throw a simulated game for Triple-A Columbus on Thursday. He's in the middle of a seven-game suspension for intentionally throwing at Yankees 3B Kevin Youkilis in April.

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