Kipnis’ three hits power Tribe win
Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski, left, tags out Indians baserunner Michael Bourn at home plate during Cleveland’s win on Wednesday in Arlington, Texas.
Jason Kipnis had a home run among his three hits and the Cleveland Indians got a series-clinching 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.
A night after ending an eight-game losing streak, and a span of 12 losses in a row away from home, the Indians made it consecutive victories to clinch their first road series in a month.
They had gone 0-4-1 in series since taking two of three May 10-12 at Detroit, the only American League team with a better home record than Texas this season.
Mike Aviles also homered for Cleveland, which also won 5-2 on Tuesday after losing the series opener 6-3.
The Indians get a day off before starting a nine-game homestand Friday against Washington.
Ubaldo Jimenez (5-4) allowed one run pitching into the sixth.
Rangers rookie right-hander Nick Tepesch (3-6) gave up five runs in five innings with five strikeouts.
The Indians went ahead to stay with two outs in the second when Jason Giambi was hit by a pitch and Aviles homered, his fourth this season, for a 2-0 lead.
An inning later, Michael Bourn had a leadoff infield hit and scored on Michael Brantley’s single.
Leonys Martin scored both runs for Texas, 19-10 at home. He led off the third with his third homer, and reached on an error in the ninth before scoring on Jurickson’s Profar’s double.
Jimenez, who had four strikeouts and four walks, was gone after Lance Berkman walked and Adrian Beltre singled to start the sixth. Reliever Rich Hill retired the only batter he faced before Bryan Shaw got the last two outs of the inning.
Kipnis, who finished a triple shy of the cycle, hit his ninth homer on the first pitch of the fifth.
Brantley then walked with one out and scored on a double by Carlos Santana to make it 5-1.
After a flyout in his first at-bat, Kipnis singled in the third. He had a hustling double in the seventh, when he hit the ball to left and slid headfirst into second to beat a strong throw by David Murphy, who had already thrown out one base runner.
In the ninth, Kipnis reached on a strange double-play fielder’s choice. Runners on first and second base both froze when shortstop Jurickson Profar couldn’t quite come up with a short-hopper. Profar threw to third for the force, and Adrian Beltre held the ball momentarily before realizing there was still a play to be made at second.
Bourn also started the game with a single, but ended the first when he was thrown out trying to score on Brantley’s two-out hit. Murphy threw a strike to catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who held on through the collision at the plate. It was Murphy’s third outfield assistant his last eight games.
Vinnie Pestano pitched the ninth for Cleveland, and needed 15 pitches to get out leadoff hitter Jeff Baker on a disputed play at first base. ... Cleveland pulled C Lou Marson from his rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus because of continued soreness in his right throwing shoulder.