ARLINGTON, Texas – Aggressive baserunning by Elvis Andrus produced a comeback win for the Texas Rangers.
Andrus scored from second base on Josh Hamilton’s infield single with two outs in the 11th inning to give the Rangers an 8-7 victory over Cleveland on Friday night, denying Ubaldo Jimenez the win in his first start for the Indians.
Andrus sparked the game-ending rally with a two-out bunt single against Rafael Perez (4-2). He advanced to second on a wild pitch before Hamilton hit a soft grounder to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.
Hamilton slid headfirst into first, beating Cabrera’s throw. Andrus never stopped after rounding third and beat first baseman Matt LaPorta’s one-hop throw to the plate.
“As soon as I saw the groundball, I was going to take my chances,” Andrus said. “When you see those chances, you have to try and score. Josh is a fast guy. I didn’t look at anybody. As soon as I saw the ball hit that way, I knew that any time (Hamilton) hits that ball he’s going to be safe.”
Andrus atoned for a second-inning fielding error at shortstop that gave Cleveland’s Carlos Santana a chance for a two-run double that extended the Indians’ lead to 6-1.
“I was trying not to think about it,” Andrus said. “Sometimes when you make an error early in the game, it gets into your head. I tried to keep playing and do whatever I could to help the team.”
LaPorta turned to first base umpire Derryl Cousins after Hamilton was called safe before turning and throwing to the plate, and that split second allowed Andrus time to score.
“You catch the ball and throw home,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “You don’t worry about whether the guy is going to be safe or out, you come off the bag and you throw home – that’s the winning run. That’s what you do.”
Michael Young was amazed that Andrus was able to score from second.
“It was almost like he was thinking to score on contact,” Young said. “That’s a huge play … a heck of a job of anticipating by Elvis.”
Neftali Feliz (1-2) tossed 1 2⁄3 scoreless innings for the win.
Jimenez pitched five-plus innings in his first start since he was acquired from Colorado on July 31. He was charged with five runs and seven hits, but was in line for the victory until the Rangers rallied with two outs in the ninth.
Hamilton singled off Chris Perez before Young drove a 2-0 pitch over the wall in center for a tying two-run homer. It was Perez’s third blown save in 25 chances.
“We’re getting into the last month-and-a-half, two months,” Young said of the AL West-leading Rangers. “It’s time for us to put our foot on the gas and make something happen.”
Jimenez was 6-9 with a 4.46 ERA in 21 starts for Colorado. He had to wait to make his Indians debut because he threw 45 pitches on July 30 in a one-inning outing in his final start for the Rockies.
Santana homered and had a career-high five RBIs for Cleveland. Santana’s three-run drive in the first and two-run double in the second came off Derek Holland.
Shelley Duncan, called up from Triple-A Columbus earlier in the day, also homered for the Indians in a game played in 105-degree heat, matching the highest first-pitch temperature in Rangers Ballpark history.
Mike Napoli went deep for Texas, his fifth homer in seven games. Napoli has an RBI in seven straight games, setting a career-high.
Holland was coming off his third shutout in a span of five starts, but he got into trouble early in this one. He surrendered consecutive first-inning singles to Jason Kipnis and Cabrera before Santana drove a 3-2 pitch into the seats in right for his 17th homer.
Cleveland added three runs in the second, helped by Andrus’ error on a two-out grounder. Kipnis had a run-scoring bouncer and Santana’s big hit extended the lead to 6-1.
Holland allowed six runs, four earned, and five hits in 12⁄3 innings. It was his shortest outing since he recorded just two outs against Florida on July 2.
• The Indians placed infielder Jack Hannahan on the paternity list and recalled Duncan from Triple-A Columbus before Friday night’s game.
• WHO: Cleveland at Texas
• TIME: 8:05
• WHERE: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (Texas)
• PITCHERS: Carmona (5-11, 5.31 ERA) vs. Wilson (10-5, 3.37)
• TV/RADIO: SportsTime Ohio; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM