Jose Ramirez had two hits and two RBIs, including the game-winning double in the eighth inning, and closer Cody Allen struggled but got the win as the host Cleveland Indians came from behind to beat the Texas Rangers 7-5 on Monday at Progressive Field in the opener of a three-game series.
Allen (2-0) entered with one out in the eighth with Cleveland down 4-3 and got the final two outs of the inning. After the Indians took the lead in the bottom of the frame on Ramirez’s double, Allen could not finish the game, allowing the Rangers a run with two outs and leaving in favor of Jeff Beliveau.
Beliveau then struck out the Rangers’ Joey Gallo looking with runners on the corners to earn his first save of the season.
Chris Martin (0-1), the fifth of six Texas pitchers, took the loss upon surrendering four runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Neither starter was involved in the decision. Texas ace Cole Hamels was removed after five innings of work in which he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out eight and walking three. The Indians’ Trevor Bauer went 6 2/3 innings and also allowed two runs on four hits; he struck out 11 and walked three while throwing 122 pitches.
Gallo’s fourth-inning groundout drove home Shin-Soo Choo from third base and gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead. The Indians tied the game in the bottom of the frame with their own RBI groundout, as Brandon Guyer plated Ramirez from third base.
Cleveland moved in front in the fifth as Jason Kipnis’ run-scoring double allowed Bradley Zimmer to head home.
The Rangers got a solo home run from Robinson Chirinos to tie the game with two out in the sixth and chase Bauer.
Three straight singles by Francisco Lindor, Kipnis and Ramirez in the bottom of the seventh off Texas reliever Alex Claudio put the Indians back in front at 3-2.
But Jurickson Profar’s ringing double into the left field corner off Tyler Olson in the top of the eighth scored Choo from second. Nomar Mazara followed with another double to bring home Profar with the lead run.
Texas’ bullpen gave up the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Lindor singled off Martin to drive in Rajai Davis with the tying run and Ramirez’s double to right chased home Zimmer with the go-ahead run. Yonder Alonso then singled in Lindor and Ramirez to give Allen a three-run cushion heading into the top of the ninth.
The teams will play the middle game of the series on Tuesday, with Texas sending right-hander Doug Fister (1-2, 3.93 ERA) to the mound to oppose Cleveland right-hander Mike Clevinger (2-0, 2.56).
—Field Level Media