- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland Indians had plenty of chances. The Texas Rangers made the most of two big swings.

Cleveland left nine runners on base in a 4-3 loss to Texas on Tuesday night. The Indians had just five hits and went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.

“We had some opportunities, that’s for sure,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “That’s the way the game goes. I’m glad we had the opportunities right up until the end.”

The Indians led 3-0 after four. Jason Kipnis and Ryan Raburn connected against Wandy Rodriguez in the first, and Yan Gomes drove in Raburn with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.

Texas rallied when Prince Fielder connected for a tying three-run homer against Danny Salazar in the fifth. The right-hander had gone 10 1/3 innings without allowing a run until Fielder’s 10th homer.

Salazar threw a slider to Fielder but the seam of the baseball caught his nail on his middle finger and caused a cut. A trainer came out to look at Salazar but he continued pitching. He allowed six hits and walked three in 5 2/3 innings.

Fielder is batting .583 (14 for 24) with five homers and 15 RBIs in his last five games. The Rangers (23-23) have won seven in a row to return to .500 for the first time since the sixth game of the season.

“Fielder feels so good right now. He hit the fastball to left field a couple times, he hit the hanger across the street because he’s feeling good,” Francona said. “That’s not the guy right now you want to hang a pitch to.”

Mitch Moreland added a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning against Nick Hagadone (0-1). Keone Kela (4-1) pitched a scoreless seventh, and Shawn Tolleson worked a rocky ninth for his fifth save in five chances.

Cleveland is 12th in the American League with a .233 average with runners in scoring position, but Michael Brantley is batting .357 in those situations. He struck out with one out and the bases loaded in the fifth and hit a tapper to the mound for the final out in the ninth with runners on first and second.

“The guy is just that good and it goes to show why this is a team game and it can’t just be all on him,” Kipnis said of Brantley. “He’s going to have these nights.”


With his home run in the first, Kipnis has hit safely in 21 of 24 games this month and has a .439 average (43 for 98) with four home runs and 14 RBIs. The 43 hits are the most by a Cleveland hitter in May since Bobby Avila had 47 in 1954.


Rangers: No timetable has been established for the return of RHP Neftali Feliz, who had surgery for an abscess on his right side Saturday.

Indians: 1B Carlos Santana was hit on his left wrist during the ninth inning. X-rays were negative after the game but Francona said it is possible that Santana might get Wednesday afternoon off.


Rangers: RHP Colby Lewis starts the finale of a nine-game trip. He has been supported by seven or more runs in each of last four starts.

Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco lost to the Rangers on May 17, allowing five runs in eight innings, including a two-run homer to Moreland.

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