After committing an error in the second inning that led to two unearned runs, Elvis Andrus redeemed himself in the 11th inning by scoring the winning run from second base on an infield single by Josh Hamilton. When Hamilton hit a slow chopper to short, Andrus never stopped running, sliding safely into home as Hamilton slid headfirst into first base. Andrus’ aggressive baserunning capped the Rangers’ comeback as they defeated the Indians 8-7 on Friday night.
The win was made possible because Michael Young hit a game-tying two-run home run with two outs in the ninth inning to tie the game at 7. Hamilton kept the game alive with a two-out single to right field and scored on Young’s homer.
Rangers’ starter Derek Holland lasted only 1 2/3 innings as he allowed six runs, four earned, on five hits. Holland was burned twice by Indians’ catcher Carlos Santana who had a three-run home run in the first and a two-run double in the second.
Mike Napoli continued his hot hitting as he hit his fifth home run in his last seven games, a solo shot to left field in the sixth that cut the Indians’ lead to 7-4. Napoli’s defense was also superb on this night as he threw out three Indians on the base paths.
The win wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the work of the Rangers’ bullpen. A combination of Scott Feldman, Yoshinori Tateyama, Mark Lowe, Mike Adams and Neftali Feliz pitched 9 1/3 innings of one-run baseball. Feliz picked up his first win of the season (1-2) as he recorded the final five outs on just 11 pitches.
The Rangers were able to spoil the Indians’ debut of Ubaldo Jimenez who lasted five-plus innings, allowing five runs on seven hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Game two of this series will take place Saturday night in Arlington as Fausto Carmona (5-11, 5.31) will oppose C.J. Wilson (10-5, 3.38).