It’s not often that Yu Darvish requires much run support, but when he did the Rangers offense showed up in a big way, as they defeated the Cleveland Indians 6-4.
The Rangers took an early lead in the second, as Alex Rios singled and Chris Gimenez doubled to put two men on the bases with one out. A Leonys Martin sac-fly would score Rios and a Michael Choice single would scores Gimenez, before an upper deck blast from Rougned Odor gave the Rangers a 4-0 lead.
“I’m not trying to hit it that far” said Odor. “I’m not even trying to hit home runs. I just hit that ball in a good spot and it ended up being a big home run.”
Cleveland would respond in the third, as Lonnie Chisenhall knocked a homer of his own off the right field foul pole, scoring Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis. A solo home run from Cabrera in the fourth would tie the game up 4-4.
Choice launched his fifth homer of the year to give the Rangers the lead in the seventh. Unlike Odor’s blast, Choice’s barely edged the right field fence, and Choice wasn’t even sure if it was going out, but it was enough to secure a Rangers’ win.
“Honestly,I wasn’t sure” said Choice. “I was hoping it got in the gap. I saw Murphy stop and that’s when I knew it was going to get out”
Though his offense has been struggling recently, a single in the eighth allowed Elvis Andrus to extend his hitting streak against the Indians to 38 games, tying the second longest streak against any one team since 1900. Andrus is now tied with Ellsbury, but will need to extend his streak to 44 to reach first alongside Vlad Guerrero.
“I think my progress is going well” said Andrus. “I think my mental approach is there too. I think I’m close to hitting the ball, and playing, the way I’ve always been playing. I’m going to keep working hard.”
Mitch Moreland walked to follow Andrus’ single, and then Elvis stole third to put runners on the corners for Adrian Beltre. A sac-fly from Beltre scored Andrus and gave the Rangers an insurance run.
It wasn’t the best game for starting pitcher Yu Darvish, put he still managed to throw seven complete innings, collect eight strikeouts, and earn the win. After giving up two home runs, Darvish was able to bounce back, calm down, and prevent any more Indian runners from scoring.
“He kept us in the ballgame once they fought back and got the game tied” said manager Ron Washington. “He bent, but he didn’t break. He’s a battler. He was able to keep us around until we could scratch some runs.”
One additional note, former Ranger David Murphy made his return to Arlington for the first time Friday night, going 0-3 with a walk. In his first at-bat during the second inning, Murphy earned a standing ovation from the crowd, that has only been exceeded by the one given for Mike Napoli.
Game two of four will take place Saturday, as the Rangers look to win their third straight game. Game time is slated for 3:05 p.m. CT.