Arlington, TX – Lance Berkman hit a two-run home run as part of a three-run seventh inning to help the Texas Rangers take a 6-3 win over the Cleveland Indians to open a three-game set.
Jeff Baker also hit a two-run home run while Nelson Cruz and Craig Gentry each drove in a run for the Rangers, who have won their past two.
Josh Lindblom pitched six innings in the start, giving up three runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Robbie Ross (3-1) pitched a scoreless seventh to get the win.
"After he gave up those three runs he really locked in," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Lindblom. "He kept us around and gave us a chance. He pitched well tonight."
Carlos Santana's three-run double accounted for all the runs for the fading Indians, who have lost eight straight. Scott Kazmir (3-4) gave up four runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six-plus innings to drop his second straight start.
Cleveland has also dropped 12 straight on the road.
"We're struggling," Kazmir admitted. "It's just little things that cost us a game. It could be a pitch. It could be defensively, offensively."
Texas took the lead in the second on Gentry's RBI single that scored A.J. Pierzynski, but it didn't hold the lead for long.
Mike Aviles singled to start the Cleveland third and Jason Kipnis later singled with one out. After Nick Swisher walked to load the bags, Michael Brantley popped out. Santana, though, doubled to right to clear the bags for a 3-1 lead.
Pierzynski singled to start the fourth and Baker followed with his ninth homer of the year to tie the game.
Texas went on top for good in the seventh. Jurickson Profar doubled to start the frame and Elvis Andrus singled, prompting a pitching change as Nick Hagadone took the mound.
David Murphy hit a grounder to first that saw Santana step on the bag and then get Profar in a rundown before he was finally tagged out. Berkman, though, salvaged the inning when he launched a pitch over the left-field wall for his fifth home run of the year.
Cody Allen then took the mound and walked Adrian Beltre before Cruz doubled him home for a 6-3 lead.
Andrus, who went 2-for-5 in the game, has hit safely in all 33 career games against the Indians, going 49-for-129 during the run. It is the longest hitting streak by any Texas batter against one opponent in the history of the club ... Texas took five of nine from Cleveland last season ... The Rangers improved to 19-8 at home this season while the Tribe fell to 12-21 on the road.