Rangers take care of business against Indians

Posted Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

ARLINGTON -- The schedule has taken a favorable turn for the Texas Rangers this week as they are home for six games against Cleveland and Seattle.

Those two teams entered Tuesday with 30 more losses than victories this season, and the Indians have won the fewest games in the American League since the All-Star break.

While both are major league teams capable of winning any day, they have become clichés this time of year. Each is a "dangerous" team that is playing "the spoiler role" and "has nothing to lose."

The Rangers, meanwhile, could have plenty of aspirations spoiled and do have something to lose the rest of the season.

Whether they will say it or not, the Rangers need to have a good week. It started well Tuesday.

Matt Harrison allowed two runs in 52/3 innings and picked up his 16th victory, and Adrian Beltre hit his 31st homer of the season as the Rangers held on for a 6-4 victory at Rangers Ballpark.

"Our focus is winning as many games as we can, and we need to keep winning series," said shortstop Elvis Andrus, who drove in the Rangers' final run.

"A week from now, we're going to have some interesting games. Right now, we have to go out there and take care of business and win them all if we can. Don't let them take one away."

Michael Young singled to drive in the first of four runs in second inning, and Leonys Martin had a double, an RBI and scored a run in his first start since being recalled from Triple A Round Rock on Sept. 1.

The victory ensured that the Rangers' lead in the American League West at minimum would be three games, pending the outcome of a late game on the West Coast between second-place Oakland and third-place Anaheim.

The Rangers have 13 games remaining against their nearest rivals, but they see every team as a rival at this point in the season.

"There are times when people forget about the level of difficulty in the major leagues," Young said. "These are the best players in the world. Every team has talent, and every team has the ability to play the game well.

"It comes down to execution. We've been through a lot together. We know what it takes to win games. Who we play is the least of our concern. We want to make sure we're focusing on things we have to do to play well."

Harrison (16-9) said that he felt well-rested after getting two extra days following his last start. It showed early, as he opened with three perfect innings.

He took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, though he had to survive consecutive walks to start a scoreless fourth, before the Indians scored a run with two outs.

They added another two-out run in the sixth on an RBI double by Matt LaPorta. It was the third hit of the inning against Harrison, who didn't throw another pitch.

"I wasn't taking any more chances," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "The first three innings he was sharp. In the fourth, fifth and sixth, he started getting the ball up. I wasn't taking any more chances."

Alexi Ogando, pitching for the first time since Wednesday because of right biceps soreness, worked 11/3 perfect innings, but Cleveland closed to a two-run deficit with two runs in the eighth against Mike Adams.

Joe Nathan, though, earned his 32nd save with a 1-2-3 ninth, and the Rangers had done what they need to do against one of those dangerous teams this time of year.

"No doubt about it," Washington said. "They don't have anything to lose, so they're out there staying relaxed.

"We just have to stay on top of our game. When an opportunity presents itself, we have to do what the game asks us to do and get those easy runs, and cash in RBIs against these types of teams because they keep fighting."

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Wednesday, September 17Full Scoreboard
Los Angeles2Final | Box
Colorado «16
San Francisco «4Final | Box
Toronto1Final | Box
Baltimore «6
Boston1Final | Box
Pittsburgh «9
Washington1Final | Box
Atlanta «3
Miami «4Final | Box
NY Mets3
NY Yankees «3Final | Box
Tampa Bay2
Cincinnati1Final | Box
Chicago Cubs «3
Cleveland «2Final | Box
Chicago WSox2Final | Box
Kansas City «6
Detroit4Bottom 8th | Box
Minnesota7@theBallpark | TV: FSN-DET, FSN-N
Milwaukee0Final | Box
St. Louis «2
Seattle0Top 5th | Box
LA Angels0@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, FSN-W, ESPN
Texas0Top 5th | Box
Oakland0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-SW
Philadelphia0Bottom 4th | Box
San Diego1@theBallpark | TV: CSN-PHI, FSN-SD
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, September 17Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 3Full Scoreboard
Tampa Bay 8:25 PM ET
Atlanta TV: CBS, NFL Network
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Detroit TV: FOX
Indianapolis 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
New Orleans TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
NY Giants TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: FOX
Dallas 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Kansas City 4:25 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Denver 4:25 PM ET
Seattle TV: CBS
Pittsburgh 8:30 PM ET
Carolina TV: NBC
Chicago 8:30 PM ET
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, September 17Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard