The Indians must have been really happy to see the month of August come to an end. After having the worst month in Indians history since July 1914, the ninth month of the calendar year began with a win over the Texas Rangers by a 4-3 score on Saturday night in Cleveland.
The Tribe got all the offense that they needed in the first inning. The first five Indians reached as Shin-Soo Choo walked, Jason Kipnis doubled, Carlos Santana singled home both Kipnis and Brantley, Michael Brantley singled, and Russ Canzler singled. The Indians then played small ball to plate two more runs as Casey Kotchman grounded out to first to drive in Santana and Jack Hannahan grounded out to second to get another run home. The Indians led 4-0. It was the first time the Indians scored four runs in an inning since Shelley Duncan's August 18 grand slam in Oakland.
Jeanmar Gomez, looking like a different pitcher early in the game, struck out the side in the second inning. He made a mistake in the third and David Murphy let him know it. Murphy smashed a ball deep into the right field seats to put the Rangers on the board.
As the Indians' offense stalled, Gomez bobbed and weaved to maintain the lead. In the fifth, he gave up another run when Mitch Moreland's sac fly scored Murphy. Gomez gave up another run in the sixth when Adrian Beltre absolutely destroyed a line drive rocket to center field that cleared the wall by five feet to cut the lead to 4-3. Manny Acta went to the mound to summon Joe Smith. Gomez finished with 5.2 innings of work, allowing three runs on four hits, striking out five.
The Indians managed just three hits after the first inning and both bullpens put up zeroes. Vinnie Pestano closed out the game for the Indians with a four-out save, his first save of the season. Jeanmar Gomez was the winning pitcher, picking up his fifth win of the season. The first inning was the undoing of Scott Feldman, who fell to 6-11.
The Tribe improved to 56-77. The Rangers fell to 78-54, and now have just a three-game lead in the AL West, assuming Oakland holds on tonight.
Stat of the Night: The first five batters in the Indians lineup had all seven hits and scored all four runs.
Player of the Game: Carlos Santana. He had the biggest hit of the game, with a beautiful swing to serve a pitch into left field. Wish the Indians could bottle that and use it more often.
Tomorrow's Game: The Indians and Rangers conclude this three game series. Ohio native Derek Holland will take on Zach McAllister at 1:05.