Lindor slams Tribe to a sweep of Rangers

Lindor slams Tribe to a sweep of Rangers

ARLINGTON -- Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam with one out in the ninth inning, and the Indians rallied for a 9-6 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night. The victory gave the Indians a three-game sweep of the Rangers in their season-opening series.

Lindor also hit a home run in the sixth inning. The slam was the first of his career and gave him his second multihomer game. His five RBIs were also a career high. The home runs came after Lindor had made a costly fielding error in the fifth that cost his team a lead.

"He kind of had a vengeance," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "That says a lot about his competitiveness, because I know he was mad at himself."

With one swing, Lindor gets redemption

Sam Dyson was called on to hold a two-run lead, but Yandy Diaz led off the ninth by bouncing a single up the middle. Tyler Naquin then hit a chopper over third baseman Joey Gallo's head for a single, putting runners on first and second.

Yan Gomes flied to right for the first out, but Abraham Almonte walked to load the bases, and Carlos Santana did the same on four pitches to force in a run.

That brought up Lindor, who turned on a 1-1 fastball and crushed it deep to right field for the grand slam, the first by an Indians player since Santana on Sept. 18, 2015. Statcast™ projected it at 403 feet.

Must C: Lindor lifts Tribe

The Rangers are off to an 0-3 start for the first time since 2007.

Frustrated Dyson refuses to give up

"We just have to grind through it," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It doesn't feel good, but we are a good ballclub. We'll grind through it."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Gallo's hustle pays off: Gallo's baserunning kept the Rangers from wasting a scoring opportunity in the fifth. Jonathan Lucroy led off with a single, and Gallo was walked by Indians starter Danny Salazar, who retired the next two hitters. Shin-Soo Choo then hit a grounder to shortstop Lindor, who was playing behind second. Lindor went for the force at second, but Gallo beat him. Lindor then threw to first trying to get Choo, but the ball got past first baseman Edwin Encarnacion and into the dugout. Two runs scored; Choo ended up at second, and he scored on a single by Nomar Mazara.

Mazara's RBI single

"That's a great play by Joey," Banister said. "That play is not made unless Joey gets to the bag quickly."

Lindor beat himself up over the misplay.

"I knew that if I caught the ball, I had a chance at second," Lindor said. "But then I moved a little bit to my right, and I just never made it there. A mental error. That can't happen. It doesn't matter how many games I've got in the big leagues, how many games we've got this year. That cannot happen. That probably affected Salazar."

Lindor beats Mazara: After Santana led off the fourth with a single, Lindor smacked a line drive to deep left. Mazara, making his first start in left, raced back but couldn't quite make the catch. Lindor was held to a single, but both runners ended up scoring on a two-out single by Jose Ramirez.

Ramirez's two-run single

QUOTABLE
"That's what we're known for. We did it last year, and we're trying to do it this year again. That's part of our game -- never back down from any challenges." -- Lindor

"It has been an adverse week, but the game is draped in adversity. We'll rise up and win some games." -- Rangers reliever Tony Barnette

"It's amazing. Especially in the fifth inning, that play, Lindor, he's going to put his head down a little bit. And I was telling him, 'Nothing happened. We're going to get them.' He did. He took the game for himself. He got the 'W' tonight." -- Salazar

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Indians outfielder Brandon Guyer led the Majors in getting hit by pitches (31) last season. His first HBP of 2017 happened in the sixth, when starter Cole Hamels sent an inside fastball off Guyer's left hip.

This is the Indians' first sweep to open a season since 1998 and their first sweep in Arlington since 2008.

WHAT'S NEXT
Indians: Following an off-day on Thursday, the Indians will open a three-game Interleague series against the D-backs on Friday with a 9:40 p.m. ET tilt at Chase Field. Righty Josh Tomlin will start for the Tribe opposite righty Shelby Miller.

Rangers: Right-hander A.J. Griffin pitches against the Athletics at 7:05 p.m. CT on Friday. It will be the first start for Griffin against the Athletics, for whom he pitched in 2012-13.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

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

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com 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.