CLEVELAND (AP) — The moment Jason Frasor’s pitch left his hand he knew Ryan Raburn would devour it.
“It was a cookie right down the middle,” Frasor said. “I put it on a tee for him.”
Raburn, who twice faked bunting during his at-bat, connected for a three-run homer in the 11th inning, giving the Cleveland Indians a wild and sloppy 11-8 win over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
The Rangers rallied from a 7-1 deficit and put the go-ahead run on third in the 11th but wound up losing for the 10th time in 13 games. Texas fell to 1-7 in extra-inning games.
“We grind and we battle,” manager Ron Washington said. “We put ourselves in a position (to win) but they had the last say-so.”
After Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana singled off Frasor (0-2), Raburn squared to bunt on two pitches and possibly drop a sacrifice before pulling a 2-1 pitch onto the home-run porch in left to rescue the Indians, who nearly lost to a Texas team that committed three errors and had three wild pitches.
Washington wasn’t happy about the errors, but he did like the fight his team showed.
“We could have very easily given up, but we didn’t,” he said.
Still, the Rangers haven’t played like a contender for a while. They fell to 2-6 since the All-Star break and are just 8-13 in July. They came in with just 28 runs in their past 12 games, so there was some progress — just not enough for a win.
“It always makes you feel better when you score runs,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “It creates energy and gets guys excited. Obviously we wanted to win, which is the biggest thing. We had a chance to win the game and it didn’t work out, but if we play with that effort we’ll be fine.”
It was the seventh walk-off win this season for the Indians, who began a crucial stretch of 14 of 17 games at home.
Bryan Shaw (1-2), Cleveland’s fifth reliever, stranded the go-ahead run at third in the 11th, and the Indians stayed within three games of first-place Detroit in the AL Central.
The Indians were in control, lost it and then needed Raburn’s dramatic homer to avoid a haunting loss.
“We may not have the best talent, but we have by far one of the tightest teams,” said Indians first baseman Nick Swisher, who homered in the first.
“When Raburn was coming around, I just grabbed the two coldest bottles of water I could find and was just launching at him. No one was excited about going to extra innings, but we’re always going to keep fighting hard and finding ways to win.”
Ian Kinsler had four RBIs and Nelson Cruz homered for the Rangers, who began the weekend three games behind first-place Oakland in the AL West.
Michael Bourn drove in three runs for Cleveland, which just returned from a disappointing trip to Minnesota and Seattle.
The Indians were thrilled to be back at home, where they play their best ball.
Despite some inconsistent play, Cleveland is still close to the Tigers, and the Indians are hoping to avoid a repeat of their collapse last season, when they went 5-24 in August and fell from contention.
“Our goal was to win the game,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We took a circuitous route to get there, but we won.”
Down 7-1 in the fourth, the Rangers kept chipping away and caught the Indians in the eighth.
Texas scored one run in the fifth, two in the sixth and seventh and the Rangers tied it on Kinsler’s two-out, two-run single off Joe Smith.
David Murphy singled leading off, and one out later, Smith hit Elvis Andrus on the leg. Leonys Martin sacrificed and Kinsler fell behind 0-2 in the count before pushing a single through the right side to score Murphy and Andrus.
Texas’ comeback cost Indians starter Corey Kluber what appeared to be a routine win. He allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, leaving with an 8-4 lead.
The Baseball Hall of Fame won’t be asking for any artifacts from this game. The teams combined for five errors and four wild pitches.
The Indians led 7-1 in the fourth, but even then the lead didn’t look safe against the Rangers, who got a leadoff homer from Cruz in the sixth and then pulled within 8-6 in the seventh off reliever Cody Allen, who gave up two runs, four hits and a walk.
The Indians scored four runs in the fourth to open a 7-1 lead and chase 22-year-old starter Martin Perez. Drew Stubbs and Bourn hit two-run singles in the outburst as Cleveland capitalized on two Texas errors in the inning.
A sudden surge of wildness by Perez helped the Indians open a 3-0 lead in the second.
Michael Brantley beat out an infield single and Mike Aviles followed with a base hit. Perez then uncorked consecutive wild pitches to the backstop, scoring Brantley and moving Aviles to third before he came home on Bourn’s grounder.
NOTES: It was the shortest outing this season for Perez, who allowed six runs and eight hits in three innings. … Andrus singled in the seventh, giving him a hit in all 35 career games against the Indians. … Rangers LHP Matt Harrison (back) is expected to throw batting practice Saturday. Harrison, the Rangers’ opening day starter, has had two operations on his back since April. … Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland is batting .069 (2-for-29) since the All-Star break.