Martin Perez took the loss after leaving trailing 3-2 in the sixth
Down two runs in the bottom of the ninth, the Rangers rallied to score a run on consecutive doubles by Nomar Mazara and Mike Napoli but Indians’ closer Cody Allen struck out the side — Rougned Odor, Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo — to preserve Cleveland’s 4-3 win Tuesday night at Globe Life Park.
Gnat a way to start
Starting pitcher and the Rangers infielders took some time during a first-inning review on a stolen base attempt to lather up in bug spray. First baseman Mike Napoli waved to the dugout for the spray and gathered his teammates for a spray down.
The bugs (maybe gnats?) were bothering Indians players too, especially that first inning. Unfortunately, they didn’t faze lead-off hitter Carlos Santana, who started the game with a homer against Perez. The Indians added two more runs on three hits in the second inning to take an early 3-0 lead.
Gallo goes bye
Joey Gallo homered in the second inning, a two-run shot to the upper porch in right field. It pulled the Rangers to within 3-2.
Dazzling double play
Shortstop Elvis Andrus made a dazzling stop on a hard-hit grounder to his left to start a 6-4-3 double play in the third. With runners on the first and second and no outs, Andrus made the stop, swiftly tossed the relay to Rougned Odor at second, who threw on to Napoli at first. Perez got a fly out to center to strand Michael Brantley at third base.
Perez goes six
Martin Perez struggled with his command, following in the footsteps of Opening Day starter Yu Darvish, who walked five Monday night. Perez held the Indians to three runs on five hits and four walks and struck out four over six innings. Three singles, including one dribbler up the middle, and a walk led to a two-run second for the Indians. Perez retired 11 of the last 12 Indians he faced but left trailing 3-2.
The Rangers used four relievers the final three innings and overall they had a better night than they did Monday. Jeremy Jeffress struck out the first batter he faced in the seventh but then surrendered an infield single to Austin Jackson. Banister turned to Dario Alvarez against the top of the Indians’ order. He walked Carlos Santana before striking out Francisco Lindor, but Michael Brantley’s single to left scored a run to give the Indians a 4-2 lead. Rookie Jose Leclerc recorded the last out of the seventh and retired all six batters he faced, including three strikeouts. Alex Claudio came on to get Santana for the final out in the ninth after Leclerc had thrown 24 pitches (18 strikes).
▪ It’s the first time the Rangers have opened 0-2 since 2007 when they went 0-3.
▪ Rangers haven’t lost all games a of a series of three or more games in Arlington since July 3-5, 2015 against the Angels.
▪ Perez turned 26 on Tuesday, becoming the 19th Rangers pitcher to start on his birthday.
▪ Indians’ closer Cody Allen becomes the second pitcher in club history to record saves in the first two games of a season. Michael Jackson did it in 1998.