The outlook for the Indians changed considerably over the weekend.
The Indians shut out Texas for the second straight day, 6-0 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep and give Cleveland its fourth straight victory.
Ubaldo Jimenez (8-5) allowed two hits in eight scoreless innings — matching his longest outing of the season — and the Indians recorded their major league-leading 14th shutout.
“Sometimes you catch a team at a good time when they’re not hot and you have to take advantage of it,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Cleveland is three games behind Detroit in the AL Central.
The Rangers, who have lost 12 of 15, have seen their normally high-powered offense come to a stop. Texas hasn’t scored since the eighth inning of Friday night’s 11-8 loss in 11 innings, a stretch of 21 innings. The Rangers are 2-8 since the All-Star break.
“There is a difference between getting beat and losing,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “The first two games, we got beat. What I want to see is the Texas Rangers. Today they were out there, but I didn’t see who I thought the Texas Rangers were.”
Elvis Andrus’ first-inning double and A.J. Pierzynski’s single in the fifth accounted for the Rangers’ only hits.
Jason Kipnis’ two-out single in the fifth broke a scoreless tie. Yan Gomes’ RBI single and Michael Bourn’s two-run double added three runs in the sixth as the Indians completed their first three-game sweep at home over Texas since Aug. 12-14, 1980.
The Indians’ winning streak has come at an opportune time. Cleveland lost four of five coming out of the All-Star break and committed 11 errors in seven games after the layoff.
“We’re having fun and we’re pulling off some good wins,” said first baseman Nick Swisher, who had three hits Sunday. “Collectively, we’re playing great. They have some great hitters over there so for our pitchers to be doing that, we’re doing something right.”