Rangers Use Long Ball To Beat Indians, 8-5

Matthew IrbySenior Analyst IApril 9, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 06:  Josh Hamilton #32, Nelson Cruz #17 and Marlon Byrd #22 of the Texas Rangers celebrate inbetween innings against the Cleveland Indians during the home opener on April 6, 2009 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

With the 8-5 win over the Indians last night, the Texas Rangers are off to their first 2-0 start since to 2000 season.

Just like Opening Day, the Rangers' offense put four runs on the board in the second inning.  Nelson Cruz led off the inning with his first home run of the season, a shot to left-center field. 

After a David Murphy fly out, Chris Davis picked up his first hit of the season, singling to the opposite field.  Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed with a double to right field, moving Davis to third. 

Then Elvis came to the plate, the wunderkind, the 20-year-old phenom who carries himself as though he is 30.  After a solid Major League debut in the field and at the plate, he gave the fans an encore performance with an RBI infield single, beating first baseman Ryan Garko to the bag.

Keeping the inning going, Ian Kinsler smashed another double to left field, scoring Salty and moving Andrus to third.

Michael Young grounded out to shortstop Jhonny Peralta for the second out, but the ground ball scored Andrus from third.

The Indians got their first run of the evening when the Rangers' starting pitcher, Vicente Padilla, hit Garko with the bases loaded.  Padilla re-grouped and got the next two batters out to keep the damage at just one run.

The Rangers added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth when Young led off the inning with a double that was directly followed by a RBI triple from Josh Hamilton.

Hamilton stroked the ball to right field getting past Shin-Soo Choo. The hit was an obvious double, but with Hamilton storming out of the box right a way, he legged it into a triple.

Two batters later, Cruz chopped a ball to pitcher Fausto Carmona who threw to second to get Blalock for the force out, and then Peralta threw home trying to get Hamilton.  The throw was a moment too late, and Hamilton scored, making the Ranger lead 6-1.

In the next half inning, Ben Francisco hit a two-out, two-run homer into the Indian bullpen in left-center field, cutting the Ranger lead down to three.

The Rangers' response came quickly. With one out in the bottom half of the inning and nobody on, Elvis left the building.

Andrus powered a ball into the Ranger bullpen in right-center field for his first career home run.

The Indians got another run in the seventh when Grady Sizemore, who led the inning off with a double, scored on Andrus' first error of the season.

However, again the Rangers responded with another long ball when Cruz became only the sixth player to ever hit a home run up into the left field upper deck, his second of the game and season.

The Indians scored the final run of the inning when Garko doubled to deep center field scoring Choo from first.

The Rangers had a scary moment a couple minutes later when Salty suddenly left the game with what was reported later as lightheadedness.

The two teams wrap up the series today at 1:05 with the Rangers looking to start the season off with a sweep.


Indians Highlights

Ben Francisco: 1-4, 2-run Home Run

Ryan Garko: 1-3, double, 2 RBI


Rangers Highlights

Nelson Cruz: 2-4, 2 HRs, 2 runs, 3 RBI

Elvis Andrus: 2-4, HR, 2 runs, 2 RBI

Josh Hamilton: 1-4, triple, run, RBI


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