CLEVELAND (AP) — A memorable debut for Texas second baseman Jurickson Profar was another forgettable loss for the Cleveland Indians.
Elite prospect Profar homered in his first major league plate appearance, powering Texas to an 8-3 victory over Cleveland on Sunday.
The free-falling Indians, who have not won a series since July, lost for the 16th time in 18 games and are a major-league worst 6-29 since July 27. They completed their 10-game homestand with two victories.
By losing the rubber game of the three-game set, Cleveland is 0-11-1 in its last 12 series.
“I think Texas is probably the best team in baseball, period,” said Indians manager Manny Acta, whose club dropped a season-low 22 games under .500. “I mean, the guy hitting ninth today (Profar) could be in the middle of the order for most teams. And how do you get the ball through the infield with the guys they have playing there?
“They should go very deep, if not back to the World Series, again this year.”
The Indians, meanwhile, started six players who spent time in the minors this year.
Right fielder Thomas Neal went 1 for 4 in his big-league debut, doubling home in a run in the eighth inning. Left fielder Russ Canzler also was 1 for 4, and has three hits in two games since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus.
“I was pretty nervous going out there, but by the time I batted in the eighth, it felt like I was just playing,” said Neal, who had been at Double-A Akron. “My depth perception in the outfield was kind of tough because we didn’t shag fly balls before the game, but that’s all right. All I need is a little practice to be fine.”
Zach McAllister (5-6) also continued his late-season audition with the Indians, but was rocked for seven runs and 11 hits in four innings. Profar, Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton and David Murphy all hit solo homers off the right-hander, who is 1-4 with a 6.08 ERA in his last seven starts.
“They’re good from one to nine, so that makes it a challenging day,” McAllister said. “Overall, I just didn’t have my best stuff today, but my body feels fine.”
Profar was a late addition to the Rangers’ lineup when second baseman Ian Kinsler was scratched with a sore back. He became the first player born in 1993 to play in the majors and — at 19 years and 195 days old — the first teenager to appear in a game for the Texas since Ivan Rodriguez in 1991.
Profar hit a homer into the right-field stands in the third. He doubled in the fourth and finished 2 for 4, also turning one double play in the field.
“He’s pretty good in the field, too,” pitcher Derek Holland said.
Acta wishes the Indians had some young players like Profar, signed by Texas as a free agent at age 16 out of Curacao.
“He’s pretty impressive, obviously one of the top prospects in the game,” Acta said. “He showed how things are kind of easy for him out there. You can see why he’s so highly regarded by teams and everyone else.”
Holland (10-6) worked seven innings of two-run ball. He is 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in five starts against the Indians, including 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA at Progressive Field.
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus went 3 for 5, extending his hitting streak against the Indians to 29 games, the third-longest ever. Seattles Ken Griffey Jr. hit in 35 straight (1992-96), one more than Torontos George Bell (1985-87).
Murphy had three hits and three RBIs for AL West leader Texas, which matched its best record through 133 games at 79-54.
NOTES: Cleveland was without All-Star closer Chris Perez (birth of daughter), shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (sore right wrist), and outfielders Michael Brantley and Shin-Soo Choo, who got a rest. Acta said Cabrera, Brantley and Choo would be in the lineup Monday against in Detroit, but Perez would not rejoin the team until Tuesday. … Texas is 50-36 all-time at Progressive Field and has the second-highest winning percentage (.581) at the ballpark behind the Yankees (.633). … The Indians recalled RHP Frank Herrmann from Triple-A Columbus. He pitched the final two innings, allowing one run. … The Indians start a three-game series Monday in Detroit. RHP Corey Kluber (0-3) opposes Tigers RHP Anibal Sanchez (7-11).