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.