EditorsNote: Notable edits in 4th, 8th and 9th grafs
Edwin Encarnacion hit an RBI single in the top of the 11th inning Friday night to snap a tie and lift the new-look Cleveland Indians to a 9-8 win over the host Texas Rangers in the wild opener of a three-game series at Globe Life Park.
The Indians, who revamped their beleaguered bullpen during the All-Star break by acquiring setup men Brad Hand and Adam Cimber from the San Diego Padres, have won four of six. The Rangers have lost three straight and six of seven.
Hand and Cimber made their debuts Friday and appeared as if they would bridge the Indians to a routine win when they combined to allow a run over 1 2/3 innings in setting up closer Cody Allen. But after retiring the first two batters of the ninth, Allen gave up mammoth homers to Robinson Chirinos and Joey Gallo on consecutive pitches.
The Indians entered Friday with the second-worst bullpen ERA in baseball (5.28). Allen’s blown save was Cleveland’s 12th.
The Rangers nearly won the game in the 10th, when they opened the inning with three straight singles off Zach McAllister (1-2). But McAllister induced Ronald Guzman to hit into a fielder’s choice, which forced Elvis Andrus at home, before striking out Chirinos and Gallo.
Jose Ramirez led off the 11th with a double off Matt Moore (1-6) and scored on Encarnacion’s third hit of the night.
Dan Otero earned his first save with a perfect bottom of the 11th to provide an atypically quiet ending to a game that featured four ties, four lead changes and a combined 34 hits and 24 runners left on base.
Jason Kipnis had two hits and three RBIs for the Indians while Yandy Diaz had four hits and two RBIs. Ramirez had two hits, including his major-league-leading 30th homer, and Brandon Guyer had three hits and an RBI. Tyler Naquin also drove in a run.
Gallo had two homers and three RBIs while Chirinos had two hits and two RBIs. Shin-Soo Choo, who reached base safely for a team-record 52nd straight game, finished with two hits and an RBI. Choo’s streak is the longest in the majors since Kevin Millar reached base in 52 straight games in 2007.
Adrian Beltre had two hits and an RBI while Willie Calhoun collected an RBI for the Rangers.
Indians starter Trevor Bauer allowed four runs on nine hits and a season-high five walks while striking out seven over a season-low four innings. Rangers starter Martin Perez gave up six runs on 10 hits and two walks while striking out four over 5 1/3 innings.
—Field Level Media