CLEVELAND (AP) — Nathaniel Lowe was 5 for 5 with a three-run homer in the first inning, and the Texas Rangers beat the Cleveland Indians 7-3 Tuesday night after adding another player to the COVID-19 list.
Lowe homered in the first, singled in the third, seventh and ninth, and doubled in the fifth. DJ Peters also hit a three-run homer in the ninth and drove in four runs.
“It’s an ebb and flow kind of thing,” Lowe said. “I’m liking the way this little stretch is going to go. Hopefully we can build on this success going forward.”
The win came at an opportune time for the Rangers, who placed catcher Jonah Heim on the COVID-19 list before the game, bringing their total to five players on the list. Texas’ scheduled starters for Wednesday and Thursday are not with the team because of health and safety protocols.
“You have to keep what’s on the field on the field and leave what’s off the field off the field,” Lowe said. “We’re going to fight with whatever personnel we can come up with and hopefully the guys who’ve got it are healthy and able to contribute soon.”
Taylor Hearn (3-4) and four relievers held Cleveland’s offense in check after the Indians scored 17 runs in winning three straight. Hearn was pulled after the first two hitters reached in the sixth and was charged with three runs. The left-hander gave up solo homers to Daniel Johnson in the third and Yu Chang in the fifth.
Texas was also coming off an 8-4 loss in Boston on Monday that ended with Travis Shaw’s grand slam in the 11th inning, but a quick start Tuesday provided a spark.
“That was awesome,” manager Chris Woodward said. “Our energy’s been great the whole year. I’m proud of these guys. They keep fighting. It hasn’t been an easy year by any means, but we’re going to fight to the end.”
Lowe homered deep into the right field seats in the first off Eli Morgan (2-6). Isiah Kiner-Falfea singled with one out and took third on Adolis García’s double. Lowe homered on a 1-2 pitch, his 13th of the season.
“The big blow with the changeup to Lowe,” Indians manager DeMarlo Hale said. “I thought that was the big at-bat there. I think he had him two strikes and he left a changeup up.”
Texas scored again in the fifth on a a groundout by Peters, whose home run came off Bryan Shaw.
The first two Cleveland hitters reached in the seventh, but Josh Sborz got out of the jam. Third baseman Andy Ibañez made a diving catch of Ernie Clement’s bunt attempt before Sborz caught Myles Straw’ low liner and threw to second to double-up Chang.
Infielder Brock Holt and right-handers Drew Anderson and Mike Foltynewicz were placed on the COVID-19 IL on Monday. Infielder Charlie Culberson was put on the list last week.
Pitchers Spencer Howard and Dane Dunning — who were scheduled to pitch the last two games of the series — did not travel with the team. Jake Latz, who is pitching at Triple-A Round Rock, will be added to the roster and start Wednesday. Jordan Lyles, who was scheduled to start Friday against Houston, will pitch Thursday.
Straw took a run away from the Rangers in the seventh with a diving catch of Peters’ line drive into the gap in right-center. Lowe, who reached on a single, would have scored easily on the play.
“His anticipation, his jumps are very good,” Hale said of Straw, who was acquired at the trade deadline from Houston. “He’s made a lot of quality plays out there in center field, no doubt.”
Indians: 1B Bobby Bradley (sore knee) and OF Harold Ramirez (pulled hamstring) played in a minor league rehab game at Class-A Lake County on Tuesday. Both were hitless in two at-bats.
Rangers: Latz will make his major league debut Wednesday night. The left-hander, who pitched at nearby Kent State, is 1-1 in 17 minor league games this season.
Indians: RHP Zach Plesac (7-4) was charged with five earned runs in 4 2/3 innings against Minnesota in his last start on Aug. 18.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports