On a muggy, humid afternoon at Progressive Field, the Rangers drove the ball through the heavy air en route to eight runs and a series victory over the Cleveland Indians by a final score of 8-3. Two players made their Major League debut, one with more fanfare than the other, but both Jurickson Profar and Thomas Neal had memorable days while Zach McAllister had a day he'd like to forget.
Both pitchers looked fairly sharp through the first couple innings as Ohio native Derek Holland and Tribe right hander Zach McAllister each stranded a runner in scoring position in the second inning. In the third, Jurickson Profar walked to the plate in his first Major League at bat. After lacing a foul ball into the stands that appeared to hit somebody, Profar gathered himself and hit a majestic solo shot into the Rangers bullpen for his first hit, run, and RBI of his career. He became just the third teenager to homer in his first at bat and first since 1950. Inspired by the rook's achievement, the Rangers tacked on three more in the inning on a ground rule double from Nelson Cruz and two-run RBI single from David Murphy.
The Indians answered immediately when Jason Kipnis reached on an infield single and Carlos Santana drove a two-run homer to the Home Run Porch in left to cut the lead in half and make it a 4-2 game. Those would be the only runs off Holland while McAllister decided to throw batting practice in the fifth.
Josh Hamilton led off the fifth with a bomb to right. Adrian Beltre followed by visiting the Home Run Porch. After Nelson Cruz flew out, David Murphy drove one deep into the right field seats to make it a 7-2 game. By allowing four home runs today, McAllister has now allowed seven home runs over his last three starts, after allowing just five over his first 14 starts. Seven runs was more than enough for the Rangers.
The Rangers added another run in the eighth for good measure off Frank Herrmann. Elvis Andrus roped a sharp single to center with one out and Michael Young promptly doubled him home. The Indians would scratch out a run in their half of the eighth when Thomas Neal, acquired last season in the Orlando Cabrera trade with the Giants, picked up his first Major League hit with a double into the right field corner, scoring Santana, who had also doubled. That RBI double was the run in the Tribe's 8-3 loss to the Rangers.
With the loss, the Indians fell to 56-78 and the Rangers improved to 79-54. Zach McAllister's struggles continued, dropping to 5-6, while Derek Holland won for the 10th time and is now 3-0 at Progressive Field in his career.
Stat of the Night: Mentioned above, but Jurickson Profar, who led his Curacao 2004 Little League World Series team to a championship, became just the third teenager to hit a home run in his first at bat.
Player of the Game: Carlos Santana had a double and a two-run home run. Honorable mention to Thomas Neal for his first MLB hit.
Tomorrow's Game: The Indians are off to Detroit to take on the Tigers for a 1:05 Labor Day matinee. Corey Kluber will face off against Anibal Sanchez.