Griffin, Rangers lose to Indians 4-2
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Cleveland pitcher Corey Kluber continued his scoreless streak and Yan Gomes hit a home run for the second straight day in the Indians’ 4-2 win over the Rangers on Monday.
Gomes was bothered last season by a knee injury that cost him 37 games. This spring, he’s come out swinging, notching his third home run of the spring.
"Gomes is short and quick with his swing and feels good," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He should he’s worked hard. It’s nice to see him have some success."
A.J. Griffin, who has a fresh start with the Rangers after missing two seasons with reconstructive elbow surgery, gave up Gomes’ home run of the spring. Mike Napoli hit an RBI single.
"It is still early but Griffin threw the ball pretty well," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "You can tell there’s pitch ability there. He’s not an over powering guy but with his mix of pitches, his fastball does play up."
Griffin along with Nick Martinez, Chi Chi Gonzalez and Jeremy Guthrie are candidates for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.
For Texas, Prince Fielder had a single and double, while Bobby Wilson had two hits.
Coming into the game, Kluber had allowed three base runners in five scoreless. On Monday, the Rangers touched him for four hits and a walk, but Kluber pitched around two errors.
"There was traffic all game. It was really good for him," Francona said. "Every inning he had to do something but he continued to execute pitches."
Rangers’ pitcher Jimmy Reyes was hit by Jose Ramirez’s line drive and left the game with a bruised left arm.
Ramirez, who started in center for the first time, had two hits and a sacrifice fly.
"This is a tough-sun field but he saw the ball good and got some pretty good jumps," Francona said. He’s very athletic and he’s had enough reps in the infield."
Rangers: Griffin went 2 2/3 innings, allowing four hits. The 28-year old spent his entire career in the Oakland organization until the Rangers signed him in December. "I’ve made pretty good progress building my pitch count up," Griffin said. "I’m feeling like myself again, throwing any pitch in any count. I’m feeling better and better."
Indians: Corey Kluber had more base runners than usual. He has now logged 9 innings without allowing a run. "The first couple of innings, my mechanics were off a little bit," Kluber said. "Every start isn’t going to be perfect. You get a chance to work out of some jams in spring rather than having bases empty all spring, then the season starts and you have base runners."
Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor is out with a strained right oblique. He took live batting practice Sunday, was off Monday and will be evaluated before another round of live batting practice. … RHP Shawn Tolleson (lower back spasms) threw live batting practice and will pitch in a minor league game Tuesday. … 1B Ike Davis has a mild right knee sprain and is day-to-day.
Indians: Francona said there is no timetable for OF Michael Brantley, who has been taking live batting practice. "We can shortcut things by having him get at-bats in minor league games," the manager said. … RHP Shawn Armstrong has a tight right latissimus dorsi. He threw a side session Saturday and is expected to pitch in games next week. … RHP Tommy Hunter is throwing off the mound. … RHP Craig Stammen is expected to throw live batting practice within the next week.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez is scheduled to start for the Indians on Tuesday in Surprise.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco is scheduled to start Tuesday against Texas.