ARLINGTON, Texas — Matt LaPorta hit a two-run homer, then later took an accidental elbow to the head and left the game Monday night as the Cleveland Indians beat the Texas Rangers 9-3.
Jayson Nix homered twice and rookie Carlos Santana also connected to help the Indians win for the seventh time in nine games.
Texas slugger Nelson Cruz had a three-run homer wiped out after umpires watched a replay and correctly overturned the call. The
AL-West leading Rangers have lost five of seven.
LaPorta homered in the top of the third, but the Cleveland first baseman sustained a bruise on his head in the bottom half.
With Julio Borbon on first, Elvis Andrus hit a slow grounder and hustled down the line. Shortstop Jason Donald bounced his throw and Andrus hit LaPorta in the back of the head as he ran past the base.
A dazed LaPorta fell on his back as the ball rolled into foul territory for a throwing error. Indians teammates were unable track down the ball in time to prevent Borbon from racing home to make it 4-1.
LaPorta was down for several minutes. He remained in the game for the rest of the inning and was replaced by Andy Marte in the fourth.
The Indians got 12 hits. Cleveland’s Austin Kearns was hit by a pitch three times, by three different pitchers.
Indians starter Aaron Laffey was staked to a 6-2 lead, but was unable to get out of the fifth to qualify for the decision.
Joe Smith (1-1) allowed two hits in 12/3 innings of scoreless relief for his first major league victory.
Laffey gave up one earned run and five hits in 41/3 innings before being pulled after throwing 101 pitches.
LaPorta and Santana homered off Omar Beltre (0-1) in the third inning of the rookie’s second big league start, giving the Indians a 4-0 lead.
Beltre allowed four runs and four hits in three innings. He went four innings in his major league debut against the Los Angeles Angels on June 30.
Josh Hamilton extended his home hitting streak to 25 games, second-longest in club history, with a fourth-inning single. Al Oliver holds the home record with a 30-game streak in 1981.
The Rangers added a run in the sixth when home plate umpire Bob Davidson called a balk on Smith, scoring Bengie Molina from third to make it 7-3. Smith stepped off the rubber, then fired to first to pick off Borbon, but Davidson immediately called the balk.
Davidson also called a balk in the seventh on Texas’ Pedro Strop.
Texas trailed 9-3 when Cruz lost his home run. The drive down the right-field line appeared to sail to the right of the foul pole, yet he circled the bases as the fans celebrated.
After the umpires reviewed the call and reversed it, Cruz returned to the batter’s box and struck out.
- Nix had his second career two-homer game.
- Texas RHP Alexi Ogando hadn’t allowed a run in the first 11 innings of his career until he gave up Nix’s two-run homer in the seventh.
- Cleveland RF Shin-Soo Choo will have his sprained right thumb examined on Tuesday to determine if surgery is necessary. The Indians originally projected that Choo would be out for several weeks, and a timetable for his return will be set pending Tuesday’s exam by Dr. Thomas Graham in Cleveland.
- Rangers 1B Justin Smoak snapped an 0-for-25 slump with a single in the sixth.
- Who: Cleveland at Texas
- Time: 8:05
- Where: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
- Pitchers: Masterson (3-7, 4.85 ERA) vs. Wilson (6-4, 3.34)
- TV/radio: STO; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM