Indians hit 3 straight HRs, Plesac shuts down Rangers, 10-3
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jose Ramirez went into the upper deck for his first home run in more than a month. The Cleveland Indians later got a trio of long balls unlike any they have had in nearly 15 years.
While rookie Zach Plesac allowed only two hits pitching into the eighth inning, Cleveland hitters were going deep. Ramirez ended a 29-game homerless drought in the third, and the Indians opened the seventh with three homers in a row to overwhelm the Texas Rangers 10-3 on Tuesday night.
"Everybody's contributing. It's nice," said Tyler Naquin, who had the last of the three homers in a five-pitch span off reliever Drew Smyly.
After Jake Bauers led off the Indians' seventh with a 389-foot shot to right-center, Roberto Perez and Naquin followed with homers that measured more than 400 feet. Those were Cleveland's first back-to-back-to-back homers since July 16, 2004.
"Doesn't happen very often, so surely guys enjoy it," manager Terry Francona said.
The three-run homer by Ramirez to right measured at 431 feet and made it 4-0. His fifth homer of the season was his first since May 14.
"Oh my goodness. That seemed like that was a lot of frustration all balled up into one swing," Francona said. "That was a loud swing. Hopefully that propels him a little bit."
Plesac (2-2) struck out six and walked five, the last two free passes to the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters to open the eighth and end his fifth career start. The only run the right-hander allowed came on Rougned Odor's one-out homer in the fifth that was the first hit he allowed.
"Yeah, I knew. But I got down 1-0, had to execute a pitch. I left it up over the plate and he was ready to hit it," Plesac said. "I wasn't thinking about it or anything. I was more worried about executing pitches and attacking the zone."
Oliver Perez got a double-play liner and a strikeout to get out of the eighth.
Two of the five Texas hits came in the ninth, including Willie Calhoun's two-run homer.
Rangers starter Adrian Sampson (5-4), who was 5-0 his previous six games, allowed five runs (three earned) in three innings. He gave up six runs in five innings at Boston in a no-decision last week.
"It just didn't look like he had a whole lot of life really from the first inning on," manager Chris Woodward said. "It just seemed like he was kind of fighting, not only his mechanics but just the ability to execute pitches."
Smyly, the veteran right-hander who was starting earlier in the season, took over in the fourth with a 32-pitch inning. A two-run single by Jason Kipnis made it 7-0 right after a double steal.
After the three homers in the seventh, Smyly has an 8.42 ERA and allowed 19 homers over 51 1/3 innings in his 13 games this season.
"He really hasn't been built up and he hasn't been starting, so I don't know if that was just a decline in stamina," Woodward said. "I'm not sure. First inning, he didn't get hit that hard. A lot of bloopers and weak contact. He just left some of his pitches up."
Indians rookie Oscar Mercado had two hits and scored three times. He is hitting .308 in his 28 games. "It's 100 at-bats, but it's been a really good 100 at-bats," Francona said. ...The Rangers are now 0-3 with a chance to reach seven games over .500. ... Bauers is 11 for 22 with five RBIs the last five games. ... Rangers second-round draft pick Ryan Garcia, the Pac-12 pitcher of the year from UCLA, signed for a bonus of $1,469,900 and was at the game. The right-hander was 10-1 with a 1.44 ERA with 117 strikeouts this season.
Indians: Francona said RHP Mike Clevinger had some swelling and discoloration in his left ankle after taking an awkward step off the mound Monday night during his first start since April 7. He will throw a side session later this week. "I think all things lead towards him being OK," Francona said.
Rangers: OF Hunter Pence, placed on the 10-day injured list Monday with a strained right groin, described his injury as "very minor, not too bad." ... OF Joey Gallo got to the team's complex in Arizona. Manager Chris Woodward said Gallo, out since June 2 with a left oblique strain, is swinging 100 percent and taking flyballs.
Indians: Right-hander Adam Plutko (3-1, 4.63 ERA) will try to win his third consecutive start. He allowed four earned runs over 12 innings the last two.
Rangers: Joe Palumbo will be recalled from Double-A Frisco for his second career start. The lefty allowed four runs over four innings in a no decision in his big league debut June 8 against Oakland.