The Rangers drew first blood off of starter Zach McAllister in the fourth inning. Adrian Beltre, who has owned the Indians this season, started it by singling with one out. After Nelson Cruz doubled off the right field wall, Michael Young singled to drive in the first run of the game. Mitch Moreland followed with a RBI fielder's choice to put the Rangers in front 2-0. That was all McAllister gave up on the night, throwing six very good innings against a tough lineup. McAllister scattered eight hits and one of the runs he allowed was unearned, but he struck out six and didn't walk a batter.
The unlikeliest of Indians tied the game. Following a Vinny Rottino leadoff single in the sixth, Matt LaPorta followed with a two-run shot to right center field to tie the game. For LaPorta, it was his first home run of the season and first since August 18, 2011. It was a promising swing from LaPorta, staying inside the baseball and driving it to the opposite field. It was one of LaPorta's three hits on the night..
The game stayed tied until the eighth inning. The Indians had a chance to break the tie when they loaded the bases with one out, only to see pinch hitter Lonnie Chisenhall strike out and Jack Hannahan fly out. In the bottom half of the eighth, the Indians defense failed them. Joe Smith came on in relief of Esmil Rogers to start the frame and lasted just one-third of an inning. Elvis Andrus reached to start the inning on a Brent Lillibridge error. After David Murphy flew out to center, Smith intentionally walked Beltre. Nelson Cruz reached on a Jack Hannahan error that scored a run and then Michael Young singled to center to drive in a second run. Scott Maine was summoned from the pen. Geovany Soto singled, but Moreland hit into a double play to end the inning. The Indians went to the ninth trailing 4-2.
When trailing after eight innings this season, the Indians were 1-75. That's a .013 win percentage. Joe Nathan came out from the Rangers bullpen, looking for yet another save. Nathan had saved both of the first two games. Ezequiel Carrera greeted him with a leadoff home run. After Russ Canzler pinch hit and singled for Lillibridge, Jason Kipnis stepped to the plate. Kipnis homered to right field to put the Indians ahead 5-4. For Kipnis, it was just his third home run since June. After Carlos Santana doubled, Nathan was removed from the ballgame. Koji Uehara came in and kept the Indians from scoring another run.
Chris Perez entered the game in his first save situation since September 7. After looking strong through the first two hitters, Perez gave up a triple to Elvis Andrus, who extended his hitting streak against the Indians to 32 games. With Andrus on third, Perez struck out David Murphy to end the game, snap the five-game losing streak, and put the Indians into the win column.
With the win, the Indians improved to 60-84. The Rangers blew a golden opportunity to sweep the Indians and dropped to 85-58. Scott Maine picked up the win, his first of the season. Joe Nathan was the loser with a blown save, falling to 2-4. Chris Perez picked up save #36.
Stat of the Night: Mentioned above, but the Indians were just 1-75 when trailing entering the ninth inning this season. They're now 2-75.
Player of the Game: Jason Kipnis. Big knock, baby, big knock(!!) in the ninth inning with the go-ahead two-run blast.
Tomorrow's Game: The Indians will welcome the Detroit Tigers to town for a three-game weekend set. Thanks to a rainout in Chicago, the Indians will have to face Justin Verlander tomorrow night. He'll face off against Corey Kluber.