Tribe take their swings against Darvish
After winning the series opener in dramatic fashion, the Cleveland Indians host the Texas Rangers in the second chapter of a three-game set at Progressive Field.
Ryan Raburn ripped a game-winning three-run home run in the bottom of the 11th, as the Indians defeated Texas, 11-8, on Friday. Asdrubal Cabrera, Michael Brantley, and Mike Aviles each had three hits for the Indians, while Nick Swisher scored twice as he went 2-for-6 with a home run.
Raburn ignored a bunt sign prior to his game-winning shot.
"It's funny because I thought about this in the back of my mind about still doing it on my own just to move the runner over there," Raburn said. "The way I've been feeling at the plate I felt like I had better chances swinging the bat and it paid off for us."
Michael Bourn went just 1-for-6 on Friday, but he managed to drive in three runs to contribute. Cleveland's center fielder has hit safely in four straight games and tallied seven RBI in his past two.
The Indians now take aim at their third win in a row as Justin Masterson takes the hill. The All-Star has completed three shutouts this season and took a no- hitter in the seventh inning of Sunday's 7-1 win at Minnesota. The 28-year old starter left the game after giving up just one hit and a run. The victory improved Masterson to 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA.
Texas will counter with the sensational Yu Darvish, who came off the disabled list on Monday to hold the Yankees scoreless for 6 2/3 innings. Darvish threw only 90 pitches in his return to action, which was his second lowest total of the season.
"He was just attacking hitters," catcher Geovany Soto said. "His fastball command was the best I've ever seen. It was great to see after a stint on the DL. He was commanding every single pitch in his repertoire."
Despite the loss, Texas compiled 14 hits on Friday with Adrian Beltre and Leonys Martin recorded three apiece. Ian Kinsler contributed with four RBI while going 2-for-5 for the Rangers, who are now 2-6 since the All-Star break. Nelson Cruz hit a solo home run, but he is just 5-for-28 with two RBI over the past seven games.
Elvis Andrus has registered at least one hit in each of the eight games since the All-Star break to raise his batting average to .249. The 24-year old shortstop has an excellent chance of extending his streak as he has gone 5- for-10 with a walk in history against Masterson.
Cleveland won two of three against the Rangers earlier this season and is 14-4 against the AL West. Texas is four games back of Oakland for first place in the AL West while the Indians trail the Tigers by three in the AL Central race.