ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 15: Josh Hamilton #32 and Ian Kinsler #5 of the Texas Rangers celebrate runs in front of Fausto Carmona #55 of the Cleveland Indians at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 15, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Indians Waste Early Chances, Texas Doesn't Waste Theirs; Rangers Win 7-4

Indians try to play spoilers in Texas

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Indians Vs. Rangers Final: Rangers Sweep Tribe 7-4 As Indians Fall 3 Below .500

  • Recap via SB Nation and Sports Network **

Arlington, TX (Sports Network) – Josh Hamilton homered for a third straight contest and Alexi Ogando pitched six shutout innings, as the Rangers earned a 7-4 win to sweep the Indians in a three-game series and widen their lead atop the AL West.

Michael Young had a three-run double and Adrian Beltre followed in the fifth inning with two-run homer, as Texas won its fourth in a row and moved 3 1/2 games ahead of the Angels in the division. The Rangers head to Seattle this weekend, while Los Angeles travels to Baltimore.

Ogando (13-8) allowed two hits, walked two and had four strikeouts to win for the first time in his last five starts. It was his first triumph at home since July 6 against the Orioles.

This was complete domination for the Rangers in the series and this season when facing the Indians. Texas, which held a 26-9 scoring margin in these three games, went 9-1 vs. Cleveland this year and has won 11 of the last 12 meetings. The Rangers have captured 18 of the last 21 meetings and are 21-4 against the Tribe since the start of 2009.

Fausto Carmona (6-15) was charged with seven hits and six runs — five earned — over six innings to drop his third straight decision.

Endy Chavez made a nice catch against the wall to rob Jason Kipnis of a hit in the opening inning and Ogando survived a 39-pitch second frame. He fanned Lonnie Chisenhall and Lou Marson with the bases loaded to escape the jam.

"Competitive juices. He was in trouble and worked his way out of it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "From that point on, he threw four pretty good innings."

Elvis Andrus bounced a single into left field to score Chavez in the third and the Rangers widened the gap to 6-0 in the fifth.

Chavez singled and stole second before Ian Kinsler walked. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Andrus. Hamilton was put on intentionally to load the bases for Young, who laced a hit into the left field corner for his 40th double of the year.

Beltre then belted his 25th homer of the year, a shot to right-center field. He extended his hitting streak to a career-high 19 games, currently the longest mark in the majors.

Carlos Santana scored on Shelley Duncan’s base hit up the middle in the top of the seventh, but Hamilton went deep off Rafael Perez to start the bottom half.

Ezequiel Carrera singled in a run in the eighth, then Grady Sizemore and Shelley Duncan scored on Lou Marson’s double in the ninth.

Cleveland’s loss reduced Detroit’s magic number to one for clinching the AL Central title. Nonetheless, Indians manager Manny Acta said it’s been a good year for his team.

"There are a lot of positives out of the year so far," he said. "We never anticipated we could survive all the things that happened to our ball club."

Young has 101 RBI on the year, marking his second career season with 100-plus RBI…Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game, left in the second inning with left rib cage aggravation… Texas has homered in eight straight to match the club’s longest streak of 2011.

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Cleveland Takes Their Last Shot At Slowing Down A Playoff Contender Thursday

It has come down to this: The Indians will play what will probably be their last important game of the season on Thursday night when they take on the Rangers in the conclusion of a three-game series in Arlington, Texas.

After tonight, here is the lineup for the next week and a half — Minnesota for three, Seattle for one, Chicago for four, and Minnesota for four more.

Now it may be that when the Tribe finishes the season in Detroit, the Tigers will have some positioning issues as far as playoff seeding goes, but assuming that most everything will be wrapped up by the time the Tribe arrives in Motown…tonight’s game really is about it, as no future opponent besides Detroit has even a whisper of a hope to be in the postseason.

Speaking of the Tigers — if the Indians fall to Texas tonight and Detroit wins in Oakland, the AL Central will be clinched.

To the game at hand: Fausto Carmona will try to avoid losing his 15th game when he takes the hill to face Alexi Ogando in the 8:05 contest. Carmona has not won since August 17, and after winning twice in April, has won just once in May, June, July and August.

Carmona has faced Texas twice this year and is 0-1, although the Indians did get the victory in his last start vs. the Rangers on August 6. In 12.2 innings of work in 2011 against Texas, Fausto has allowed six earned runs, and is 2-7 in his career with a hefty 5.16 ERA in 61 frames against the Rangers.

On the other side of the ledger, Ogando (12-8, 3.71 ERA) shined in his previous outing against the Tribe this season. On June 3 Ogando went eight innings and allowed just one run on four hits while striking out six in an 11-2 Rangers’ win at Progressive Field.

It may be worth noting that — despite his 12 wins — Ogando has not triumphed since August 15, going 0-3 in five appearances in the last month.

So we have a couple of pitchers trying to get their act together, and that is something worth watching for Indians fans, since their is little other motivation left. Meanwhile, the motivation for the Rangers is a bit higher -- Texas leads the Angels by only three games in the West, and should they fall behind Los Angeles, it is doubtful (in face, almost impossible) that they could at the same time claim a Wild Card.

After tonight’s contest the Tribe will head to Minnesota to begin a three-game weekend set. After that, Cleveland has only three more road games, and we already know where, and when, those will be.

A loss tonight would drop the Indians to a season-high (or low) three games under .500.

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Indians Vs. Rangers Final: Texas Has No Problem With Lifeless Tribe In 9-1 Win

The Texas Rangers erupted for eight runs — five of which were unearned — in the fourth inning tonight and cruised to a 9-1 win over the Indians, maintaining their three-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels and dropping the Tribe two games under .500 for the first time since they were 0-2.

Frankly, this one might have been over even had the Rangers been held to three runs in the fourth, but in a closer game, who knows what might have happened?

As it was, David Huff allowed two homers in the inning — one coming on a grand slam off the bat of Josh Hamilton after an error on Lonnie Chisenhall kept the frame alive.

Chisenhall got a little redemption in the fifth when he belted his seventh round-tripper of the season, but the Indians basically went quietly against Derek Holland for seven innings.

Holland improved to 14-5, while Huff fell to 2-5. David lasted four innings, and allowed eight runs — three earned — on eight hits, with his ERA rising to 3.40.

Cleveland managed only six hits on the night, with no player collecting more than one, while Texas collected a dozen hits off of three Tribe pitchers. Nick Hagadone, the fourth Indians’ hurler of the night, was the only one to come through without being touched for a hit, although Frank Herrmann also tossed a scoreless inning, matching Hagadone’s.

Really not much more to say about this one. Just another loss in a season which suddenly cannot end soon enough. The Indians now must go 9-7 in their last 16 games just to finish at .500.

The Tribe will be glad to see the season series with the Rangers end on Thursday night, as Texas has dominated the Tribe to the tune of an 8-1 record in 2011, continuing a trend that has lasted for several seasons now.

Fausto Carmona will try to salvage a game from this series tomorrow night. But with Texas having so much more to play for, and the Indians not seeming inspired to be spoilers, don’t be surprised if another sweep is in the cards for The Good Guys.

Oh, and the Tigers’ magic number drops to two with Cleveland’s loss tonight, Detroit plays tomorrow night and so can clinch should the Indians lose, but if not tomorrow, then this weekend, surely, the Tigers will become the new American League Central champions.

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David Huff Tries To Slow Down The Rangers In Arlington Wednesday

David Huff faces Derek Holland at 7:05 on Wednesday night as the Indians try to get even in this three-game series and to reach .500 again, after slipping below the break-even point with a 10-4 loss to the Rangers last night.

Huff (2-4, 3.05 ERA) will try to snap a personal two-game skid in his first appearance vs. Texas in 2011. David pitched a complete game and got a win in his only career outing against the defending American League champions, so, if nothing else, he is not going to be overly intimidated in trying to slow down the Rangers, who lead the Los Angeles Angels by three games in the West.

Texas will send Derek Holland (13-5, 4.12 ERA) to the hill tonight. Holland lasted only 1.2 innings in his prior start against The Good Guys, on August 5, giving up five hits and four earned runs, but avoided a loss when the Rangers prevailed 8-7.

Holland had quite a different line in his first start vs. the Tribe in 2011. On June 4 he pitched a complete game 5-hitter in a 4-0 Texas win, part of the Rangers’ four-game sweep of the Indians at Progressive Field.

Holland had back-to-back shutouts earlier this season, defeating the Athletics on July 7 and then the Mariners on July 14.

This series will wrap up with an 8:05 game on Thursday, when Fausto Carmona will face Alexi Ogando.

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Indians Vs. Rangers Final: Texas Plays Their Typical Game Against The Tribe In 10-4 Win

Carlos Santana blasted two homers in Texas last night, but that was trumped by the Rangers hitting four long-balls off of Justin Masterson and the Indians’ bullpen, and the Rangers retained their three-game lead in the AL West with a 10-4 victory.

Something about Texas brings out the worst in the Tribe, and that proved true again last night, as Masterson (11-10) lasted five innings and gave up six runs. Nick Hagadone was charged with two runs without ever retiring a batter, and Zach Putnam worked an inning in his Major League debut, allowing a homer to the first batter he faced and eventually surrendering two runs on three hits.

Matt Harrison improved to 12-9 for the Rangers with five innings of three-run ball, and three Texas relievers combined to hold the Tribe to one run in four innings.

Santana homered from each side of the plate, becoming the first Indians’ switch-hitter since Victor Martinez in 2007 to accomplish that feat in the same game. Carlos now has 23 homers in 2011.

The Rangers got two home runs from David Murphy and one each from Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton in improving to 7-1 vs. Cleveland this season.

Santana’s first homer tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth, and after Texas went back ahead in the bottom half on Murphy’s second tater, Jason Kipnis tied things again at 2-2 with an RBI double in the fifth, scoring Kosuke Fukudome.

But Masterson could not hold the fort and keep the game tied, giving up two runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it 4-2 Texas. Santana scored on a wild pitch in the sixth to cut the Rangers’ lead to one, but Texas added four in their half to pretty much put the game away.

Santana’s second homer (and third hit of the night) finished the scoring in the eighth.

The Indians will try again tonight at 7:05 when David Huff faces Derek Holland.

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