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Nix's Two Homers, Donald's Four Hits Key Tribe Rout

Arlington, TX (Sports Network) – Jayson Nix recorded his second career multi- homer game, and the Indians scored in six straight innings to notch a 9-3 victory over the Texas Rangers in the first of a three-game series.

Nix, who now has 16 career home runs in parts of three seasons with three different clubs, last hit two homers in the same game on May 26, 2009 against the Angels while with the White Sox. Carlos Santana and Matt LaPorta each added a home run, as the Indians recorded a season-high with four in a game.

“It was a special night. It was great to be here at home, and to be able to do it front of (my family) was just special,” Nix said.

LaPorta, though, left the game after suffering a head contusion following an accidental elbow from Texas’ Elvis Andrus during a play in the fourth inning. His status for upcoming games is uncertain.

Jason Donald finished with a career-high four hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Joe Smith (1-1) got the win after pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Aaron Laffey started and gave up two runs - one earned -, five hits and three walks in 4 1/3 frames — throwing 101 pitches.

The Indians have now won seven of nine overall.

Ian Kinsler went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Rangers, who have scored three or fewer runs in five straight games — a season-high. Omar Beltre (0-1) allowed four runs and four hits through three innings of his second career MLB start, also Texas’ fourth loss in five games.

“Days like this — they’re going to come once in awhile,” Andrus said. “We just have to come tomorrow and get the next two games and the series. It’s nothing to worry about.”

The Indians got on the board in the second inning.

After the first two batters were retired, LaPorta worked a walk, and Trevor Crowe followed with a two-out single. Donald’s ensuing base hit plated LaPorta for a 1-0 lead.

In the third, Santana led off the Cleveland half-inning with his fifth homer, and LaPorta later added a two-run shot in the same inning for a 4-0 advantage.

The Rangers cracked the scoreboard in the home third when Andrus scored on a Donald throwing error, but Nix restored Cleveland’s four-run lead with a two- out solo homer in the fourth.

Michael Brantley’s sacrifice fly in the fifth put the Indians ahead by five, although a Kinsler RBI single in the bottom of the inning made it a 6-2 game and ended Laffey’s outing.

Vladimir Guerrero’s single off Frank Herrmann loaded the bases with one out, but Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz both struck out looking to end the threat.

The teams again traded runs in the sixth, with Cleveland scoring on a Jhonny Peralta double and the Rangers on a Joe Smith balk with two outs and runners on the corners.

The Indians’ suddenly potent offense scored for the sixth consecutive inning in the seventh, as Nix’s second homer of the night — a two-run shot — made it 9-3.

Cruz hit what was originally called a three-run homer in the seventh before the call on the field was reversed to foul. He eventually struck out…The Indians have an extra base hit in 31 straight games, the longest active streak in the AL…The season series is tied, 2-2.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.