Well-rested Matt Harrison pitches Rangers past Tribe in series opener
Arlington, TX, United States (4E Sports) – Pitching seven days after his second consecutive loss, Matt Harrison bounced back and limited the Indians to two runs in 5 2-3 innings in the Texas Rangers’ 6-4 victory over Cleveland Tuesday night at Rangers Ballpark.
The win enabled Texas (84-57) to remain three-games ahead of the Oakland Athletics for first place in the AL West.
Coming off back-to-back losses to the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals, Harrison (16-9) did not allow a runner until the fourth inning.
Harrison was supposed to start Sunday’ series finale with Tampa Bay, but the Rangers decided to give him a couple of extra days off.
The rest apparently helped. Harrison was perfect through the first three frames before running into some trouble in the sixth.
Harrison was pulled in favour of Alexi Ogando after giving up a single and a double that enabled Cleveland to pull within 5-2.
It was enough to halt a personal two-game losing streak for Harrison, who was roughed up with 10 earned runs in 10 innings over his previous two starts.
Harrison issued three walks and struck six Tuesday. He is the fourth AL pitcher with 16 wins, a career high.
Adrian Beltre smacked a solo blast, his 31st homer, and scored twice to lead Rangers offense in the opener of a three-game series.
Michael Young, Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and Leonys Martin each knocked in the win, the fourth in the last six games for the Rangers.
Joe Nathan hurled a perfect ninth to notch his 32nd save of the season.
Ubaldo Jimenez (9-16) had a solid early start but the Indians poor fielding contributed to his struggles.
Jimenez, who came in at 1-1 with a 4.58 ERA in three career starts versus the Rangers, yielded five runs, two earned, on four hits and four walks over five innings en route to his fifth straight losing decision.
Matt LaPorta hit an RBI double for the Indians, who dropped their fourth straight game. Cleveland is now 15-42 since the All-Star break.