Murphy’s Homers Bring Dark Cloud To Tribe; Rangers 10, Indians 4
By Mike Brandyberry
Justin Masterson, who had only allowed seven home runs all season, looked like an overworked and tired starter in the Texas heat Tuesday evening, as he allowed three home runs and the Texas Rangers won the first of a three game series, 10-4.
David Murphy helped the Rangers take an early lead. He hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second to give the Rangers an early 2-0 lead. The Indians answered Murphy’s bomb with a Carlos Santana homer in the top of the fourth inning, however, Murphy would hit a towering blast in the bottom of the inning to keep the Rangers ahead.
In the top of the fifth inning Kosuke Fukudome singled with one out, then Jason Kipnis doubled to left center to score him, again tying the game. Masterson would allow his third home run of the game, a two-run blast to center field, in the bottom half of the inning, giving the Rangers a 4-2 lead.
In the top of the sixth, the Indians would again cut the lead when Santana doubled and Grady Sizemore’s ground out moved him to third. Santana was able to hustle home on a passed ball, giving the Rangers a 4-3 lead. However, the Indians could couldn’t slow down the Rangers again. Singles by Murphy and Mike Napoli chased Masterson from the game.
Nick Hagadone entered and was unable to record an out. He walked Mitch Moreland, then allowed pinch hitter Craig Gentry to single up the middle scoring two runs. Josh Judy relieved Hagadone and officially let the wheels run off the tracks when Elvis Andrus doubled to center, scoring Moreland and Gentry to make the lead, 8-3 Rangers. Hagadone and Judy, who certainly are being watched and evaluated for their 2012 possibilities struggled again in a tight situation.
Zach Putnam made his major league debut in the eighth and immediately gave up a home run to Beltre. He would allow two runs in his inning of work. The Indians tacked on one more run, making the final a 10-4 clobbering from Texas.
Since the Indians have realized that the playoffs will not be part of their October plans, the team has started to rest some of its overused bullpen pitchers and given opportunities to September call ups from Columbus. The Tribe will have to consider the same idea with the starting staff with a tired rotation and two doubleheaders looming next week.
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