The Cleveland Indians nearly pulled off an impressive late-inning comeback on Saturday, but instead fell in the 11th inning to the Texas Rangers in a disheartening 5-2 defeat. Cleveland reliever Joe Smith took the loss to move to 1-1, while Texas flamethrower Alexei Ogando picked up his first win of the year.
Behind for much of the game, Asdrubal Cabrera finally put Cleveland on the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth with a double that plated outfielder Michael Brantley. A passed ball allowed infielder Jason Kipnis to score shortly thereafter, which tied the game at two apiece and was enough to force extra innings.
The two teams could not muster any offense until the top of the 11th, when Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre, who was called into the game to pinch hit, knocked a three-run homer to center field to give the Rangers a 5-2 advantage. Unable to mount a comeback in the bottom half against Texas closer Joe Nathan, the Indians fell to a dismal 5-8 at home and 14-11 overall with the loss.
Offensively, the Indians were paced by Cabrera, who finished 4-for-5 with a run driven in, and leadoff hitter Michael Brantley, who went 2-for-5 with a double. While it might be bothersome that Cleveland hitters were stymied by Texas starter Derek Holland (7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 6 K) for much of the day, it's at least somewhat promising that an ice-cold offense still managed to rally down the stretch.
The Indians will look to get back in the win column on Sunday in the series finale, and will send Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound to face Texas' Japanese import Yu Darvish.
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