The Cleveland Indians fell to the Texas Rangers on Sunday, after a walk-off single gave Texas an 8-7 victory over the Tribe. After similar offensive performances – 12 hits and two walks for Cleveland, compared to 13 hits and two walks for Texas – it was a disappointing loss for the Tribe.
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Second Inning: T.J. House Finally Falters
After a stellar debut last week, House finally allowed a run during his three innings of work on Sunday. Carlos Peguero singled to start off the second inning, and after getting Ryan Ludwick to ground out, Jared Hoying homered to right field to put the Rangers up 2-0. Two quick outs ended the inning, but when House came back out in the third, he allowed Delino DeShields Jr. to reach on a throwing error, and Elvis Andrus followed with a single to put runners at the corners for Prince Fielder. Although Fielder grounded out, an unearned run scored and gave Texas a 3-0 lead. House also had a pair of strikeouts and no walks in his outing.
Fifth Inning: Anthony Swarzak struggles
After Cody Allen pitched a scoreless fourth inning, allowing just one hit and striking out a batter in his spring debut, the Tribe’s offense was ready for business. Jesus Aguilar led off with a hit, and after Tyler Holt grounded into a force out, Giovanny Urshela hit a long fly ball to left-center for a home run. But the Rangers quickly made up for those runs when they came to bat against Swarzak, who allowed a one-out double to Rougned Odor and struck out DeShields, Jr. before the inning fell apart. With two down, Swarzak allowed an RBI single to Andrus before giving up a two-run home run to Fielder. He escaped the inning, but not before the Rangers were ahead 6-2.
Ninth Inning: Texas Walks Off
The Tribe stayed in the game with a sixth-inning RBI-single from Holt that scored two, as well as a sacrifice fly off the bat of Aguilar in the eighth and a two-run home run from James Ramsey that tied the game in the ninth. But with Shawn Armstrong pitching, the Rangers’ minor leaguers battled back for the win. A pair of singles by Nick Williams and Trever Adams put runners on second and third as Isaiah Kiner-Falefa stepped to the plate. He lined a single to center field for the game winning hit.
House looked solid, despite hanging a pitch for a home run and making a throwing error that led to an unearned run. Aside from that, he seemed to have good control, and didn’t walk a batter in three innings. The Tribe’s bullpen candidates also are creating a tough competition – Kyle Crockett allowed a run on two hits and a walk, but C.C. Lee pitched a scoreless inning, and Austin Adams shutdown hitters in his outing.
Swarzak had a rough outing, and got hit around by the Rangers in his inning of work. Other than that, it was a pretty well-played game for the first week of Spring Training. The Indians might have lost, but their major leaguers did a very good job of keeping things under control until they were out of the game.
Reading Too Much Into It
Carlos Santana went 0-3 with a strikeout and a walk, dropping his average to .091. He also hit into a double play. Last season, his offensive contributions were primarily home runs and walks, and it could be a similar year for Santana. In 2014, his OBP was .365, compared to a .231 average.
Check It Out
– Carlos Carrasco will debut on Monday, as the Indians take on the Mariners in Peoria. Batters hit just .209 against Carrasco last season, when the right-hander finally settled in at the major league level. Veteran and former Royal Bruce Chen will also pitch later in the game.
– On the position player side, Brandon Moss is scheduled to make his first appearance of spring as well. Moss was recovering from off-season hip surgery, but he is slated to bat in Monday’s game. Moss hit 25 home runs in an injury-plagued 2014 season, after hitting 30 in 2013, and should add a considerable amount of power to the Tribe’s lineup this year.