CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Tribe pitching hit hard in Texas

Tribe pitching hit hard in Texas

ARLINGTON -- It didn't matter that Justin Masterson was coming off one of his strongest starts of the season or that the Rangers rested Elvis Andrus and Michael Young.

On Tuesday night, the Indians paid for their transgression of putting a whooping on the Rangers a night earlier. They paid by coming out on the short side of a 12-1 loss at Rangers Ballpark, evening up the three-game set at one lopsided win apiece.

Just 24 hours after the Indians unloaded a season-high four homers on Rangers pitching, the Rangers did likewise to Tribe pitching. Texas banged out 17 hits and got key contributions from Joaquin Arias and Andres Blanco, the two guys filling in for the All-Star Andrus and the Final Vote candidate Young.

More

"They just hit us around," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "Those guys have a very good offense. They rested three of their regulars. To go out and bang out all those hits, they're a very good offense."

The talk of the clubhouse in the aftermath was not so much the loss as it was the frightening sight of an unidentified fan falling roughly 30 feet from the club-level seats in the second deck to the lower bowl during the fifth inning. Play was halted for 16 minutes as medical personnel tended to the falling fan, and several Tribe players crouched at their positions or fell to their knees in prayer.

"I heard the crowd react, and then I was just praying the whole time," shortstop Jason Donald said.

The Rangers reported that the man, who was taken to nearby John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, was conscious and had control of his extremities. The four people he landed on in the lower deck were all treated at the Ballpark and did not sustain serious injuries.

The game went on. It just didn't progress to the Indians' liking.

The Indians saw a 1-0 lead built on Jayson Nix's first-inning solo shot -- Nix's third homer in five at-bats over two games -- go to waste in the second. Masterson left one up to Josh Hamilton, whose 404-foot solo shot to left-center evened the score.

But the biggest blow actually came in the fourth. Masterson hit Vlad Guerrero with a pitch, then gave up a ground-ball single to Hamilton. With one out, Masterson intentionally walked Justin Smoak to set up a double-play opportunity. He got Matt Treanor to go down looking, but Blanco burned him with a two-run double to right to make it 3-1.

"If you look at it, it was right down the middle," Masterson said of the ill-fated sinker. "It's definitely one I didn't want."

He'd have another sinker he'd like to take back in the sixth. The Rangers loaded the bases on a walk and two ground-ball singles. Up came Arias with one out. Masterson hung another sinker, and Arias pounded it to left for a bases-clearing double that made it 6-1.

"[That double] was the door-slammer," Masterson said.

Masterson, who has had an erratic first half, had nearly pitched a complete-game shutout against the Jays in his previous start. The momentum definitely didn't carry over.

"That guy has a tough sinker, and he moves the ball around pretty good," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Masterson. "We made him get the ball up and put together some runs. We made him work a little bit."

As if the Indians' bats, which mounted little threat to C.J. Wilson during his six innings of work, didn't have enough work cut out for them, the Rangers kept piling on the runs against the Tribe bullpen.

Masterson was yanked, and right-hander Hector Ambriz was hit hard. Guerrero went deep for a two-run shot to cap the five-run sixth. In the seventh, Ambriz served up a leadoff shot to Nelson Cruz. The Rangers put two on to set up a pair of RBI infield singles. Arias sent a soft grounder to third that Jhonny Peralta couldn't make a play on. Ian Kinsler then sent a grounder to Nix at second, and Andy Marte wasn't at first to field Nix's throw. The two runs that scored made it 11-1.

David Murphy's solo shot off Perez -- the fourth homer off Tribe pitching -- in the eighth made it 12-1. The whooping was complete.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. He blogs about baseball at CastroTurf. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Less