By Christian Corona and Cody Stavenhagen
ARLINGTON -- Nick Swisher and the Indians put a damper on Adrian Beltre's 400th home-run party as Cleveland opened the weekend series with an 8-3 win at Globe Life Park on Friday night.
Swisher's RBI double in the first inning off Rangers starter Wandy Rodriguez helped the Tribe get out to a 2-0 advantage. It was one of three Swisher hits in the game. The Rangers answered with a pair of home runs, including Beltre's 400th, in the bottom half to go up, 3-2, but couldn't make the lead last. The Indians roughed up Rodriguez, scoring one in the fourth and two more in the fifth. Rodriguez left after allowing eight hits and five earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.
"The fastball didn't seem to quite get where he's had it, where he wanted it," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "More than anything else, the breaking ball was not as sharp. Those two factors made a difference tonight."
Indians starter Bruce Chen exited after surrendering seven hits and three earned runs in 2 1/3, but Cleveland won the battle of the bullpens as five relievers combined to hold the Rangers scoreless, while the Indians' order thrived.
"We'll take wins anywhere we can get them," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We fought hard tonight. We did some good things. Now we show up tomorrow and see if we can do it again."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Beltre follows Fielder's blast with No. 400:Prince Fielder hit a towering two-run home run to answer Cleveland's two-run first inning, but he was quickly outdone. Beltre crushed a 3-0 sinker into center field for his 400th career home run. It was the first time this season the Rangers have hit back-to-back homers, and it made Beltre the 52nd member of the 400 home run club. More >
Kipnis, Brantley stay hot:Jason Kipnis extended his hitting streak to nine games, going 4-for-5 and scoring three runs. In 18 games since taking over for Michael Bourn in the leadoff spot, Kipnis is batting .419 with 12 extra-base hits -- three of them homers -- and 17 runs. Michael Brantley reached in each of his five plate appearances, including a pair of RBI doubles in the first and sixth and a pair of walks in the fifth and ninth. He is batting .397 with 16 RBIs over his last 20 games.
"Kip's looked good for a while now," Francona said. "He can get so hot. He's been so good in the leadoff spot. First at-bat of the game and he's already in mid-game [form]. He's not giving up anything. He's been really good for us." More >
Rangers 'pen can't escape sixth: Rangers reliever Kyuji Fujikawa replaced Rodriguez and got Zach Walters to fly out to end the fifth, but he wasn't so fortunate an inning later. Fujikawa allowed a leadoff home run to Brett Hayes before hitting Jose Ramirez and surrendering a single to Kipnis. Left-hander Sam Freeman replaced Fujikawa, but gave up a double to Brantley on a misplayed ball by Shin-Soo Choo and a sacrifice fly to Lonnie Chisenhall. The Indians' three-run inning put them up 8-3.
"[The middle innings have] been a challenge for us," Banister said. "We definitely need to be better. There's been a string of home runs out of the bullpen that are concerning. The ability to pitch through an inning without giving up runs, it is challenging. That's where we're at right now, and we need to be better."
Indians relievers pick up Chen: After Chen lasted just 2 1/3 innings, the third-shortest outing by an Indians starter this season, the bullpen went on to toss 6 2/3 scoreless frames. Ryan Webb replaced Chen with two on in the third and, despite hitting a batter to load the bases, got out of the jam and went on to shut the Rangers out for two innings. Zach McAllister extended his consecutive scoreless streak to 11 2/3 innings by getting the next five outs. Scott Atchison, Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen each contributed one scoreless inning to close the door. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Beltre is one of only four players to hit 400 home runs while playing third base for at least 75 percent of a career. He joins Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews and Chipper Jones.
"You'd have to ask their guy what they were doing with [Jose] Ramirez because that looked a little ... If he wanted to get our attention, he did. If that was his intention, he did a good job." -- Francona, on Rangers right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa hitting Indians shortstop Jose Ramirez in the back in the sixth inning, one of five players to be hit by a pitch on Friday.
Raburn exits after hitting wall
Indians left fielder Ryan Raburn left the game for precautionary reasons in the fifth inning due to a left knee contusion he sustained after running into the left-field wall while making a run-saving, over-the-shoulder catch. Choo sent a high-arching fly ball to left-center and Raburn caught it in full stride, hitting the fence at full speed. He stayed in the game, but left three innings later. Following the game, Raburn said he would be available tomorrow if needed. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Indians:Danny Salazar on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. ET looks to build off his start Sunday, when he retired 21 straight after allowing a leadoff homer to Brian Dozier. His 13.1 strikeouts per nine innings lead the Majors.
Rangers:Colby Lewis aims for his third straight win on Saturday against Cleveland at 7:05 p.m. CT. Lewis has a 0.86 ERA in his past three starts in May. He has thrown at least five innings in each of his seven starts this season.