Created on Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Written by DAVID JIMENEZ,Associated Press
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Cleveland Indians thought they'd finally caught a break in the seventh inning Monday night.
Instead, the bullpen stumbled and the reeling Indians suffered another setback on a trying road trip.
Nick Hagadone gave up a two-run homer to Lance Berkman after an odd double play erased the go-ahead run at third base, and Indians lost their eighth straight, 6-3 to the Texas Rangers.
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 May 24, went deep down the left-field line on the second pitch from Hagadone to break a 3-all tie.
Nelson Cruz tacked on an RBI double off Cody Allen in the seventh to make it 6-3.
"The way it unfolded, it looked like we were going to get out of it with nothing," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "He threw a fastball where he didn't locate it, and he paid for it."
Cleveland is 0-7 on a road trip against the New York Yankees, the Detroit Tigers and Rangers — all teams in first place in the American League.
The Indians also have dropped 12 in a row at home, their longest slide since a 16-game skid that carried over from 2009 into the second road game of 2010.
"Hopefully in a month or two, we'll look back and laugh at it," Cleveland third baseman Mark Reynolds said. "We're having our tough stretch. Trust me, it's tough on everyone in here and it's frustrating. But we just have to find a way to win one game and build on that."
Carlos Santana had a three-run double in the third inning to put Cleveland ahead 3-1, its largest lead on the road trip. The Indians didn't get another hit the rest of the game.
Cleveland had just two baserunners over the last six innings — Jason Giambi on a walk and Jason Kipnis on an error by shortstop Elvis Andrus.
"Work hard and grind because there isn't a magic potion," Francona said. "There might be, but you can go to jail. We're going to find out a lot about ourselves right now."
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 Hagadone. The left-hander allowed eight hits and four runs with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings.
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.
Lindblom allowed five hits while striking out six and walking one in place of the injured Alexi Ogando, who went on the disabled list Sunday. Four of his six innings were perfect.
"There's nothing I can do to change the double that he hit, so I've got to worry about the next pitch," said Lindblom, who was knocked out in the fifth inning of his other start. "You make the next pitch and the next pitch and the next thing you know you're in the fifth or sixth inning."
The Indians were facing an emergency starter for a second straight game. Detroit rookie Jose Alvarez held Cleveland to one run over six innings on Sunday.
"He gave us some pitches to hit and we didn't execute," Reynolds said. "I know myself, I had a couple of pitches to hit and couldn't get it done. I'm just as frustrated as anybody."
Mike Aviles started Cleveland's three-run third by beating Andrus' throw on a grounder up the middle. Kipnis singled and Nick Swisher walked with one out, and after Michael Brantley popped out, Santana sent a ball to the gap in right-center, just out of Nelson Cruz's reach.
The Rangers tied the score quickly in the fourth. A.J. Pierzynski led off with his second single and scored four pitches later on Jeff Baker's homer down the left-field line.
What could have been the defensive play of the game ended up as a single for Berkman after Reynolds dove into foul territory to stop a one-hop grounder and threw to first. Berkman would have been out, but Santana came off the bag early to throw back to Reynolds, who tagged out Murphy trying to go from first to third on the play. Berkman was awarded a hit.
NOTES: The Indians acquired INF John McDonald from Pittsburgh for a player to be named or cash. The 38-year-old McDonald spent his first six seasons with Cleveland starting in 1999. To make room for him, the Indians moved RHP Brett Myers (right elbow) to the 60-day DL. ... Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler has resumed baseball activities and hopes to return during an 11-game homestand that ends June 20. He's been out since May 18 with a rib injury. ... Andrus has at least one hit in all 33 career games against the Indians.