The Rangers don’t see the Cleveland Indians again until the end of June. That still might not be long enough for some of the Texas Rangers. The Indians scored five runs in the ninth inning, including a game-deciding grand slam by Francisco Lindor off closer Sam Dyson to beat the Rangers 9-6 Wednesday night at Globe Life Park. The Indians swept the Rangers in the season-opening three-game series, pinning the first 0-3 start on Texas since 2007.
How Rangers pitchers fared: Cole Hamels retired the first nine batters before the first two hitters singled to start the fourth inning. Both runners scored on Jose Ramirez’s single to right. Francisco Lindor homered in the sixth and Hamels wavered a bit, hitting the next batter and walking Edwin Encarnacion before getting two fly outs to end the inning. He allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits and a walk and had four strikeouts over six innings.
Tony Barnette allowed a single in a scoreless seventh. Matt Bush walked the lead-off hitter in the eighth but recorded two strikeouts in a scoreless eighth. Sam Dyson entered the ninth with a 6-4 lead but struggled mightily. He allowed five runs on three hits and two walks, the big blow coming on Lindor’s game-changing grand slam. He retired only one batter before Jeremy Jeffress came on to end the inning.
How Rangers hitters fared: Nomar Mazara’s two-run homer in the first off Indians’ starter Danny Salazar gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
Texas scored three more in the fifth to reclaim a 5-3 lead. Two runs scored on a throwing error by Francisco Lindor, who after being beat out to second base by Joey Gallo on a force play, threw high to first, allowing Shin-Soo Choo to reach and move up to second on the errant throw. Jonathan Lucroy and Gallo scored on the play. Choo scored on Mazara’s single to right. Elvis Andrus 2 for 4 with a homer in the seventh to make the score 6-4.
Notables: Drew Robinson made his major league debut as a pinch-hitter in seventh inning. He tapped out to first base. Indians’ pitcher Shawn Armstrong earned his first major league victory with a 1/3 of an inning of work ... Elvis Andrus, who was 2 for 4 with a homer, has hit safely in 56 of 60 career games against the Indians ... Mazara, who was 3 for 4, is the first Rangers player with multi-hit games in each of the team’s first three games since Nelson Cruz did it in the first four games in 2013.