Ramirez’s Homer in Seventh Gives Tribe Game 1 Win; Indians 2, Rangers 0
Bob Toth | On 07, Aug 2019
It was a game dominated by pitching as the Indians and Rangers opened the day’s doubleheader with a pitchers’ duel between 23-year-old Jurado and the 24-year-old Zach Plesac. The two starters went toe to toe for six innings before the Indians finally struck through against the Rangers’ second-year right-hander.
Jurado did not give up a hit until the fifth inning. He walked Ramirez in the second before he swiped second, but back-to-back groundouts left him in scoring position. Roberto Perez walked to start the third, but was erased on a double play ball ahead of a perfect fourth for the Rangers righty. His no-hit bid ended in the bottom of the fifth when Mike Freeman put the Indians in the hit column with a two-out single to right (after two punchouts by Ramirez and Franmil Reyes to open the inning), but Perez grounded into a force at second. Jurado followed his first hit allowed by retiring the side in order in the sixth.
Plesac had a little more of a challenge on the mound, but he was up to the task. He worked around an Elvis Andrus two-out single in the first, despite making a throwing error that put the runner in scoring position. He recovered to get Nomar Mazara to pop to short. Two reached in the second as the Rangers mounted a rally as Logan Forsythe reached on an infield single to third that Ramirez could not barehand before Delino DeShields doubled to right to put two in scoring position. The Rangers may have been able to sneak across a run on the hit, had it not been for a bullet fired in from right field to the plate by Puig to hold Forsythe at third. Jose Trevino grounded to second to leave the pair. Plesac saw two more reach in the third as Danny Santana singled with one out before a walk by Andrus, but Mazara flied to center and Hunter Pence struck out swinging. Forsythe singled with one out in the fourth and Andrus walked with two out in the fifth, but neither advanced against Plesac, who followed those base runners with his only 1-2-3 inning of the day in the sixth.
Nick Goody came on in relief for Plesac to start the seventh and struck out DeShields before Trevino singled to right. Shin-Soo Choo, however, was unable to get the job done as he ended the inning with a double play grounder into the shift.
Jurado, who was still under 90 pitches on the afternoon, came back out for manager Chris Woodward to open the home half of the seventh with just one hit allowed through six. A six-pitch battle with Carlos Santana went the way of the Indians’ slugger as he singled to right to open the frame. Yasiel Puig struck out on three straight pitches for the first out. Ramirez stepped to the plate and took a pair of pitches off of the plate before getting his “home run pitch”, driving a two-run bomb down the right field line to put the Indians up 2-0. Jurado retired the next two.
Goody returned for a second inning of relief and got the job done, striking out Santana and Mazara around an Andrus grounder to second. The Indians were retired in order in the bottom of the eighth, leaving the game in the hands of Brad Hand. He brought his A-game to the mound, striking out Pence swinging on a 2-2 slider and Odor swinging on a 1-2 four-seamer before freezing Forsythe on an 0-2 slider to close out the shutout.
The Indians moved to 67-46 with the win and picked up a half game on Minnesota, which was starting later in the day. The Rangers fell to 58-55 with the defeat as the Indians evened up the series at one game each.
Plesac pitched six quality innings despite having to work some along the way. He allowed seven base runners in that span, but he struck out seven while dodging out of trouble in his no-decision. Goody earned the win with two innings of one-hit relief. He faced the minimum in that stretch while striking out three to move to 3-0 on the season. Hand struck out the side on 13 pitches for his 28th save of the season.
Jurado took the loss for the Rangers, moving to 6-7 on the year, despite working a quality seven innings on the day. He allowed two runs on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts on 100 pitches (57 strikes), with the only real blemish on his stat sheet coming from the two-run Ramirez homer in the seventh.
The Indians mustered just three hits and two walks, but made it stand on the big blast by Ramirez. He has 15 homers on the season now and is second on the club with 59 RBI.
The Rangers had a two-hit game from Forsythe and had six hits in total off of Indians pitching, but the club struck out 13 times. Santana led the way with a hat trick, while Andrus (who reached safely in three of four trips to the plate on the day) was the lone Ranger to fail to strikeout.
The second game of the doubleheader pits Texas’ Lance Lynn (14-6, 3.71 ERA) against the Cleveland bullpen.
Photo: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire (via Getty Images)