For the first time this season, the Cleveland Indians have dropped fourth games in a row, losing 2-0 to the Texas Rangers on Sunday at Progressive Field, giving the defending Americal League champions a 4-game sweep of the Tribe.
While 4-game series are rare these days, it was the first 4-game sweep for the Rangers over the Tribe since Aug. 11-13 at Cleveland and dropped the Indians into a tie with the New York Yankees for the best record in the AL at 33-24.
Cleveland, which had winning months in both April and May, fell to 1-4 in June by being outscored 24-6 that included back-to-back shutouts. Texas, which won a 7-4 decision on Thursday after trailing 3-0, roared to a 11-2 win on Friday with a 5-run seventh on a 3-run homer from Josh Hamilton and a 2-run blast off the bat of Elvis Andrus.
The Indians, who scored on a ground ball double play by Shin-Soo Choo in the sixth and a solo home run by Asdrubal Cabrera in the ninth, saw their offense go to sleep the rest of the series.
Derek Holland, a 2005 graduate of Newark (Ohio) High School, went the distance on Saturday night, allowing five hits and a walk with five strike outs in a 4-0 win, fueled by 2-run home runs from Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. Holland moved to 5-1 while Cleveland’s Fausto Carmona (3-7) got no offensive support and took the loss.
On Sunday afternoon, C.J. Wilson helped the Rangers complete the sweep by going 7.2 innings of scoreless baseball in a 2-0 win with solo home runs from both Mitch Moreland and Andrus.
Wilson (6-3) got bullpen help from Darren Oliver, who retired the only hitter he faced in the eighth and Neftali Feliz, who recorded his 13th save with a scoreless ninth. Mitch Talbot (2-2) gave up both runs on eight hits in 6.0 innings in becoming the hard luck loser.
Cleveland, now 19-10 at home after a 14-2 start at Progressive Field, remains home for three against Minnesota starting 7 p.m. Monday. The series continues 7 p.m. Tuesday and concludes noon Wednesday before the Tribe heads to New York for four against the Yankees followed by three in Detroit against the Tigers.
The Indians lost both games in a rain shortened series on the road against Minnesota in April in the only meetings of the Tribe and Twins this season.
Cleveland returns from its New York-Detroit road trip to resume interleague play, hosting Pittsburgh (June 17-19) and Colorado (June 20-22) at Progressive Field. The Indians continue play against National League teams with a 9-game rpad trip with 3-game sets at San Francisco, Arizona and Cincinnati to conclude the month of June and begin July.