Early burst helps Tribe topple Rangers, halt losing skid
Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – After a woeful month, the Indians began September on a positive note with Carlos Santana’s two-run single highlighting a four-run first inning, and Cleveland topped the Texas Rangers 4-3 Saturday night at Progressive Field.
The Tribe were an awful 5-24 in August.
Casey Kotchman and Jack Hannahan each added RBI groundouts in the first inning outburst for the Indians, averaging 3.2 runs per game since the All-Star break.
It was the biggest inning since scoring four in the ninth against Oakland on Aug. 18 for the Indians, whose 24 losses in August tied a franchise mark for defeats in a month.
It snapped a six-game skid for the Indians, who found another pitcher to help them bust a lengthy losing streak.
Jeanmar Gomez (5-7), who got a spot start for Cleveland after being recalled from Triple-A Columbus Wednesday, gave up four hits, including solo blasts by David Murphy and Adrian Beltre.
Gomez, who started in place of the injured Roberto Hernandez, walked two and struck out five in 5 2-3 frames in his first start for Cleveland since June.
Prior to Saturday’s tilt, the right-handed Gomez has made 13 starts this season, but dropped his last three.
Vinnie Pestano also stepped up for the Indians, missing the services of All-Star closer Chris Perez, who wasn’t available because his wife, Melanie, gave birth to a baby girl Saturday morning.
Pestano pitched out of a first-and-third jam in the eighth and worked around a one-out single in the ninth as he went from his role as setup man. Pestano got the final four outs to notch his first save of the season.
Scott Feldman (6-11) recovered after being tagged early to threw five scoreless innings for Texas, which entered with a four-game lead in the AL West over Oakland and lost for just the fifth time in 16 contests.