Berkman’s homer extends Tribe’s skid
Lance Berkman hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the seventh inning and the Texas Rangers beat Cleveland 6-3 Monday night to hand the Indians their eighth straight loss.
Berkman’s homer was his first since May 24 and extended Cleveland’s road losing streak to 12, its longest since a 16-game skid that carried over from 2009 into the second away game of 2010.
Robbie Ross (3-1) got the win after striking out the side following a leadoff walk in the seventh. Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th save.
Scott Kazmir (3-4) ended up with the loss even though he was in the dugout when Berkman homered off Nick Hagadone.
Carlos Santana had a three-run double in the third inning, but the Indians didn’t get another hit.
Jeff Baker had a tying homer for Texas in the fourth, his ninth of the season and fourth in the past six games.
The Rangers had runners at first and third with no outs in the seventh but were at risk of not scoring after Hagadone got a grounder from David Murphy that the Indians turned into a double play by throwing behind Jurickson Profar at third.
Berkman, who was 2 for 25 with eight strikeouts coming in and had just one RBI since his last homer, went deep down the left-field line on the second pitch from Hagadone.
Kazmir fell behind 1-0 in the second on an RBI single by Craig Gentry but avoided further trouble by striking out Elvis Andrus with the bases loaded after third baseman Mark Reynolds misplayed a grounder with two outs.
Josh Lindblom, making his second career start with Texas this season after 101 relief appearances in the big leagues, retired the final 10 batters he faced after Santana’s three-run double put Cleveland up 3-1 in the third.
Lindblom allowed five hits while striking out six and walking one. Four of his six innings were perfect.
The Indians had just two baserunners over the last six innings — Jason Giambi on a walk and Jason Kipnis on an error by Andrus at shortstop.
The Rangers tied the score quickly in the fourth. A.J. Pierzynski led off with his second single and scored four pitches later on Baker’s homer down the left-field line.
Kazmir allowed eight hits and four runs with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings.