Tribe stuns Texas with late rally for OD win

Tribe stuns Texas with late rally for OD win

ARLINGTON -- The Indians trailed by four runs after three innings before rallying for an 8-5 victory over the Rangers on Opening Day at Globe Life Park on Monday.

Five home runs were hit in the game, including two by Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor. The biggest came in the eighth inning, when Edwin Encarnacion tied the score with a home run to left off Rangers reliever Matt Bush.

"We never gave up, and we never will give up," said Encarnacion, who signed a three-year, $60 million deal with the Indians over the winter. "We'll never put our heads down. We're always going to keep our heads up and trying to go forward."

Rangers closer Sam Dyson took over in the ninth, but Tyler Naquin led off with a single, moved to second on Yandy Diaz's slow grounder to third and scored on a single by Abraham Almonte. Carlos Santana followed with a run-scoring double to right-center. Michael Brantley's two-out single gave the Indians a three-run lead.

"We can't worry about it," Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "We've got 161 more, and the next one is tomorrow. Flush it and move on."

Texas confident in bullpen despite loss

Rangers starter Yu Darvish showed erratic command in his first Opening Day start, allowing four runs on four hits and five walks while striking out four over 6 1/3 innings. Indians starter Corey Kluber, who was fighting a blister on his throwing hand, allowed five runs -- all on home runs -- in the first three innings, but he and the Indians' bullpen held the Rangers to just one single and one walk over the final six innings.

Kluber's first K of the season

"Kluber deserves some credit, and our bullpen, to keep it right there," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "You could tell [the Rangers] were feeling pretty good about themselves."


Gomez goes … and goes ...: Carlos Gomez's home run landed in the second (club) level beyond left field and was measured at an estimated 461 feet. That's the longest Opening Day home run tracked by Statcast™ in the past three years. It's the 20th time that a player has hit one into the club level. The last Rangers player to do so was Nelson Cruz in 2012.

"Amazing to hit the ball that far," Gomez said. "I was looking for a certain pitch, I got it and put a good swing on it. But it doesn't matter. We still lost."

Edwin's immediate impact: It did not take long for Encarnacion -- the Indians' marquee signing over the winter -- to make his presence felt. In the eighth, the slugger drilled a 1-2 pitch out to left, pulling the game into a 5-5 tie. Encarnacion's first home run with the Tribe had a 107-mph exit velocity and traveled a projected 422 feet, per Statcast™. That blast jump-started a four-run push by the offense over the final two innings.

"That's why we got him," Francona said. "That's a nice feeling. You can tell, he had one thing in mind right there, and he did it. He's a good hitter. Hopefully, there's a lot more to come." More >

Encarnacion's game-tying homer

"The five walks were a little problematic. There were times when the stuff was electric and there were times when he pulled pitches out of the strike zone. Overall, it was a solid night. Take the walks away, but the stuff was solid." --Rangers manager Jeff Banister, on Darvish

"We saw what he did tonight. He can put the ball in the seats whenever. He's a professional hitter. He's going to make us better. I think that we're going to really enjoy him for 162 games. He's going to make us put up more runs." --Indians reliever Andrew Miller, on Encarnacion

Jose Ramirez (24 years old) became the youngest Indians player to hit a home run on Opening Day since 1995, when Manny Ramirez (22) went deep.

Ramirez's two-run home run

Banister used his first challenge of the season before the first inning was completed. Gomez drew a leadoff walk, then was thrown out by catcher Yan Gomes trying to steal. Banister challenged, but the replay could not conclusively determine if Gomez reached the base before the tag was applied, and the call stood.

Gomes throws out Gomez

Indians: Right-hander Carlos Carrasco is slated to start against the Rangers in an 8:05 p.m. ET game on Tuesday in Texas. Carrasco dealt with mild inflammation in his right elbow this spring, but should be able to log around five innings.

Rangers: Left-hander Martin Perez pitches against the Indians at 7:05 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Globe Life Park. Perez is 0-1 with a 12.46 ERA in two starts and one relief appearance against the Indians in his career.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.