Ramírez's 2-run homer sends Indians by Rangers in DH opener

CLEVELAND (AP) The Indians aren't waiting on Jose Ramirez any longer. They're again counting on him.

Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning - just Cleveland's third hit - to send the Indians to a 2-0 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader.

Ramirez connected on a 2-0 pitch from Ariel Jurado (6-7), who had blanked the Indians on two singles before allowing the third baseman's 15th homer.

After struggling for three months, Ramirez, a two-time All-Star, has found his groove at the perfect time for the hard-charging Indians, who have baseball's best record over the past two months. Ramirez batted .320 in July and has raised his average by nearly 50 points since June 20.

Even when Ramirez was batting below .200, Indians manager Terry Francona never lost faith he'd come around.

''He's a great player,'' Francona said. ''He just got caught up in some bad habits hitting and it took him a while, and his confidence took a hit.''

The Indians are 12-2 when Ramirez homers and 33-5 when he drives in a run.

Nick Goody (3-0) replaced rookie starter Zach Plesac in the seventh and pitched two scoreless innings. All-Star closer Brad Hand struck out the side in the ninth for his 28th save.

The Indians are an MLB-best 38-16 since June 4, when they trailed first-place Minnesota by 10 1/2 games in the AL Central. They're now within 2 1/2 games following the Twins' 11-7 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona will turn to his bullpen, which came in with the majors' lowest ERA, to handle Game 2. Texas will start right-hander Lance Lynn, one of the AL's best pitchers this season.

Jurado, who went 1-3 last month, baffled the Indians for most of his outing. He didn't allow a hit until the fifth, when Mike Freeman grounded a single to center.

''That's a pretty good lineup he basically mowed down,'' Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. ''He was one pitch away from shutting them down through seven innings. He got a lot of weak groundballs. He gave us a chance to win the game. ''

The Indians finally got something going in the seventh as Carlos Santana led off with a single. One out later, Ramirez launched Jurado's 91-mph fastball deep into the right-field seats as the Indians scored their first runs in 15 innings. They were shut out 1-0 by Texas on Monday.

For six innings, Plesac matched Jurado, allowing five hits.

Jurado's bid to pitch baseball's fourth no-hitter this season - and the first by a Texas pitcher since 1994 - was kept alive in the fourth by shortstop Elvis Andrus. He charged and grabbed rookie Oscar Mercado's high chopper barehanded before throwing out Cleveland's center fielder on a close play.

BLANK PAGE

The Indians have 12 shutouts, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the most in the majors.

PUIG'S CANNON

Newly acquired Indians right fielder Yasiel Puig showcased his strong arm in the second.

With a runner on first, Delino DeShields hit a double that bounced off the wall and was grabbed by Puig on the warning track. He quickly fired a strong throw - the ball traveled over 250 feet - toward the plate. It was caught on the fly by catcher Roberto Perez, who took several steps up the first-base line as runner Logan Forsythe held at third.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: RHP Shawn Kelley (sore biceps) was activated from the 10-day injured list. He had been sidelined since July 21.

Indians: Francona said the plan is for RHP Corey Kluber to throw ''50-ish'' pitches in his rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Columbus, a significant step for the two-time Cy Young winner in his recovery from a broken right arm. Francona added that Kluber, who was struck by a line drive on May 1, is cleared to throw his full array of pitches.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Rookie LHP Kolby Allard will be recalled from Triple-A Nashville and make his debut for Texas on Friday in Milwaukee. He was acquired from Atlanta at the trade deadline.

Indians: Begin a four-game, showdown series against the Twins with RHP Mike Clevinger (6-2, 3.07 ERA) starting against RHP Kyle Gibson (11-4, 4.02). Clevinger is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last three road starts.

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123456789RHE
TEX58-56
000000000060
CLE68-46
00000020X231
  • W: N. Goody (3-0)L: A. Jurado (6-7)S: B. Hand (28)
  • HR: CLE - J. Ramirez (16)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
S. Choo LF40000021.276.375.483.857-1.0
D. Santana 1B40100030.320.348.584.932-0.5
E. Andrus SS20100200.286.323.417.7403.0
N. Mazara RF40000014.264.315.448.763-0.5
H. Pence DH40000022.288.338.552.890-1.0
R. Odor 2B40000020.206.273.438.711-1.0
L. Forsythe 3B40200010.252.359.403.7631.5
D. DeShields CF30100011.265.348.374.7221.5
J. Trevino C30100013.333.333.333.6670.5
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    F. Lindor SS40000011.301.350.526.876-0.5
    O. Mercado CF30000000.285.332.461.7930.0
    C. Santana 1B31100000.282.402.523.9252.0
    Y. Puig RF30000011.254.304.470.774-0.5
    J. Ramirez 3B21121110.243.316.425.7419.5
    F. Reyes DH30000021.245.300.510.810-1.0
    M. Freeman 2B30100001.260.350.390.7401.0
    R. Perez C20000101.232.317.474.7921.0
    G. Allen LF30000001.224.289.371.6600.0
      BATTING
      • 2B - D. DeShields (11)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - N. Mazara 2 (2), H. Pence 2 (2), J. Trevino 3 (3)
      BATTING
      • HR - J. Ramirez (15)
      • RBI - J. Ramirez 2 (59)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Freeman, R. Perez
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - J. Ramirez (23)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Odor-Andrus-Santana)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Freeman-Ramirez-Santana)
      • E - Z. Plesac (2)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      A. Jurado (L, 6-7)7.03222514.741.3814.5
      E. Clase1.00000000.000.383.0
      PITCHERSIP
      A. Jurado (L, 6-7)7.0
      E. Clase1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      Z. Plesac6.05002703.131.1517.5
      N. Goody (W, 3-0)2.01000301.350.9013.5
      B. Hand (S, 28)1.00000302.350.9811.5
      PITCHERSIP
      Z. Plesac6.0
      N. Goody (W, 3-0)2.0
      B. Hand (S, 28)1.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - A. Jurado 100-57, E. Clase 13-11
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A. Jurado 12-3, E. Clase 2-1
      • Batters Faced - A. Jurado 25, E. Clase 3
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - Z. Plesac 106-75, N. Goody 28-21, B. Hand 13-10
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Z. Plesac 4-7, N. Goody 2-0
      • Batters Faced - Z. Plesac 25, N. Goody 6, B. Hand 3
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      TEX58-56
      000000000060
      CLE68-46
      00000020X231
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      S. Choo LF40000021.276.375.483.857-1.0
      D. Santana 1B40100030.320.348.584.932-0.5
      E. Andrus SS20100200.286.323.417.7403.0
      N. Mazara RF40000014.264.315.448.763-0.5
      H. Pence DH40000022.288.338.552.890-1.0
      R. Odor 2B40000020.206.273.438.711-1.0
      L. Forsythe 3B40200010.252.359.403.7631.5
      D. DeShields CF30100011.265.348.374.7221.5
      J. Trevino C30100013.333.333.333.6670.5
      Total32060021311-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        F. Lindor SS40000011.301.350.526.876-0.5
        O. Mercado CF30000000.285.332.461.7930.0
        C. Santana 1B31100000.282.402.523.9252.0
        Y. Puig RF30000011.254.304.470.774-0.5
        J. Ramirez 3B21121110.243.316.425.7419.5
        F. Reyes DH30000021.245.300.510.810-1.0
        M. Freeman 2B30100001.260.350.390.7401.0
        R. Perez C20000101.232.317.474.7921.0
        G. Allen LF30000001.224.289.371.6600.0
        Total262321256-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - D. DeShields (11)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - N. Mazara 2 (2), H. Pence 2 (2), J. Trevino 3 (3)
          BATTING
          • HR - J. Ramirez (15)
          • RBI - J. Ramirez 2 (59)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Freeman, R. Perez
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - J. Ramirez (23)
          FIELDING
          • DP - (Odor-Andrus-Santana)
          FIELDING
          • DP - (Freeman-Ramirez-Santana)
          • E - Z. Plesac (2)
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          A. Jurado (L, 6-7)7.03222514.741.3814.5
          E. Clase1.00000000.000.383.0
          Total8.0322251---
          PITCHERSIP
          A. Jurado (L, 6-7)7.0
          E. Clase1.0
          Total8.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          Z. Plesac6.05002703.131.1517.5
          N. Goody (W, 3-0)2.01000301.350.9013.5
          B. Hand (S, 28)1.00000302.350.9811.5
          Total9.06002130---
          PITCHERSIP
          Z. Plesac6.0
          N. Goody (W, 3-0)2.0
          B. Hand (S, 28)1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - A. Jurado 100-57, E. Clase 13-11
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A. Jurado 12-3, E. Clase 2-1
          • Batters Faced - A. Jurado 25, E. Clase 3
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - Z. Plesac 106-75, N. Goody 28-21, B. Hand 13-10
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Z. Plesac 4-7, N. Goody 2-0
          • Batters Faced - Z. Plesac 25, N. Goody 6, B. Hand 3
          • 7TH INNING
            Ramirez homered to right, Santana scored02
          • 9TH INNING
            • Brad Hand relieved Nick Goody
            • H. Pence: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Pence struck out swinging
            • R. Odor: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Odor struck out swinging
            • L. Forsythe: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Forsythe struck out looking
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • N. Goody Pitching:
            • D. Santana: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Santana struck out swinging
            • El. Andrus: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Andrus grounded out to second
            • N. Mazara: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Mazara struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Emmanuel Clase relieved Ariel Jurado
            • R. Perez: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Perez grounded out to shortstop
            • G. Allen: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Allen lined out to shortstop
            • F. Lindor: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Lindor grounded out to second
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • Nick Goody relieved Zach Plesac
            • D. DeShields: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, DeShields struck out swinging
            • J. Trevino: Strike looking, Trevino singled to right center
            • S. Choo: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Choo grounded into double play second to third to first, Trevino out at second
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • A. Jurado Pitching:
            • Ca. Santana: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Santana singled to center
            • Y. Puig: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Puig struck out swinging
            • J. Ramirez: Ball, Ball, Ramirez homered to right, Santana scored
            • F. Reyes: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Reyes struck out swinging
            • M. Freeman: Ball, Freeman grounded out to first
            • End of the 7th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • Z. Plesac Pitching:
            • H. Pence: Ball, Pence flied out to deep right
            • R. Odor: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Odor struck out swinging
            • L. Forsythe: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Forsythe flied out to deep right
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • A. Jurado Pitching:
            • G. Allen: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Allen grounded out to first
            • F. Lindor: Ball, Ball, Lindor flied out to deep left
            • O. Mercado: Mercado grounded out to shortstop
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • Z. Plesac Pitching:
            • S. Choo: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Choo grounded out to shortstop
            • D. Santana: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Santana struck out swinging
            • El. Andrus: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Andrus walked
            • N. Mazara: Mazara grounded out to first
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • A. Jurado Pitching:
            • J. Ramirez: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ramirez struck out looking
            • F. Reyes: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Reyes struck out swinging
            • M. Freeman: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Freeman singled to right center
            • R. Perez: Ball, Ball, Ball, Perez reached on fielder's choice to third, Freeman out at second
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • Z. Plesac Pitching:
            • R. Odor: Strike looking, Odor popped out to second
            • L. Forsythe: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Forsythe singled to center
            • D. DeShields: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, DeShields lined out to left
            • J. Trevino: Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Trevino struck out looking
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • A. Jurado Pitching:
            • O. Mercado: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Mercado grounded out to shortstop
            • Ca. Santana: Ball, Santana flied out to right
            • Y. Puig: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Puig grounded out to shortstop
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • Z. Plesac Pitching:
            • S. Choo: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Choo struck out looking
            • D. Santana: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Santana singled to center
            • El. Andrus: Foul, Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Andrus walked, Santana to second
            • N. Mazara: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Mazara flied out to center
            • H. Pence: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Pence struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • A. Jurado Pitching:
            • R. Perez: Strike looking, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Ball, Ball, Ball, Perez walked
            • G. Allen: Ball, Allen reached on fielder's choice to second, Perez out at second
            • F. Lindor: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Lindor grounded into double play second to shortstop to first, Allen out at second
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • Z. Plesac Pitching:
            • H. Pence: Ball, Strike looking, Pence grounded out to second
            • R. Odor: Odor popped out to third
            • L. Forsythe: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Forsythe reached on an infield single to third
            • D. DeShields: Strike swinging, Strike looking, DeShields doubled to deep right, Forsythe to third
            • J. Trevino: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Trevino grounded out to second
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • A. Jurado Pitching:
            • Y. Puig: Ball, Puig grounded out to second
            • J. Ramirez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ramirez walked
            • F. Reyes: Ball, Ball, Ramirez stole second, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Reyes grounded out to shortstop
            • M. Freeman: Freeman grounded out to second
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • Z. Plesac Pitching:
            • S. Choo: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Choo struck out swinging
            • D. Santana: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Santana struck out swinging
            • El. Andrus: Strike looking, Strike looking, Andrus singled to right center
            • N. Mazara: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Andrus to second on Plesac throwing error, Ball, Mazara popped out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
            • A. Jurado Pitching:
            • F. Lindor: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Lindor struck out swinging
            • O. Mercado: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Mercado grounded out to third
            • Ca. Santana: Santana flied out to left
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)