Zimmer’s 465-foot HR, big innings lead Indians past Rangers
“When you really get one like that, it’s hard to take off running”
CLEVELAND (AP) — Bradley Zimmer hit a two-run homer into the second deck in right field to highlight a four-run first inning and the Cleveland Indians beat the Texas Rangers 10-6 on Thursday night.
Zimmer’s 465-foot blast off Jordan Lyles (6-11) hooked toward the foul pole and landed several rows back in the second deck at Progressive Field before bounding into the lower deck.
Zimmer paused briefly near the batters’ box as his towering drive soared from the field of play before starting his home-run trot.
“When you really get one like that, it’s hard to take off running,” he said with a laugh. “You watch it a little bit and then go on your way.”
Indians interim manager DeMarlo Hale asked members of the coaching staff if they had seen a ball hit in that location.
“We haven’t seen too many of them,” Hale said. “Maybe (Jim) Thome went up there, I think someone said.”
Zimmer, who drove in three runs, has the two longest home runs hit by a Cleveland player this season. He hit a 471-foot homer to center field on Aug. 9 against Cincinnati in Cleveland, but couldn’t say which was the best accomplishment.
“Oh man, the one tonight felt good, pretty good,” he said. “It’s hard to choose. They were pretty much the same feeling.”
Texas tied the game with two runs in the second and two in the third, but Cleveland put together another four-run inning in the fourth.
Andrés Giménez’s RBI double gave Cleveland the lead. Amed Rosario had a sacrifice fly and José Ramírez and Franmil Reyes added RBI singles as the Indians (63-62) moved past .500 for the first time since Aug. 2.
Ramírez, whose fielding error helped Texas tie it in the third, matched a career high with three stolen bases, and Reyes drove in two runs. Myles Straw hit a leadoff home run in the first and rookie Owen Miller homered in the fifth.
Trevor Stephan (3-0) allowed one run in 2 2/3 innings.
Nick Solak and DJ Peters homered for Texas, which is 9-28 since the All-Star break. Manager Chris Woodward admits there have been frustrating days, but he has remained positive.
“That’s my job,” he said. “That’s my job is to bring it every day. When it comes to being positive, I’m not always smiling, but I’m always optimistic about moving this thing forward. I have to be. That’s my responsibility to the organization and to these players, to the team.”
Lyles had his start moved up a day after Spencer Howard was placed in healthy and safety protocols. The right-hander allowed eight runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Straw homered on Lyles’ second pitch of the game. Ramírez walked, stole second and scored on Reyes’ double. Zimmer followed with a Reyes-like drive for a 4-0 lead. Reyes hit a 451-foot home run into the left field bleachers Wednesday.
Jose Trevino and Solak had RBIs in the second. Isiah Kiner-Falefa led off the third with a single and took third when Andy Ibañez singled, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Both runners scored when Ramírez booted Nathaniel Lowe’s two-out grounder.
The Indians placed rookie infielder Ernie Clement on the 10-day injured list before the game with an unspecified condition. Clement is batting .227 with two homers and seven RBIs in 36 games.
Right-hander J.C. Mejia was recalled from Triple-A Columbus. Mejia is 1-7 with an 8.75 ERA in 14 games for the Indians this season.
Third baseman Ryan Dorow made his major league debut and went 0 for 3 with a walk. He became the 24th rookie to appear in a game for the Rangers. The appearance set a club record for a season, one more than in 2014 and 2019.
Baltimore and Miami are the only teams to use more rookies this season with 25.
Indians: RHP Aaron Civale will make a minor league rehab start at Class A Lake County on Friday night. He hasn’t pitched since June 22 when he sprained his right middle finger.
Rangers: RHP Glenn Otto is expected to make his major league debut on Friday night when Texas opens a home series against Houston. Otto has been pitching at Triple-A Round Rock. Texas has six players on the COVID-19 injured list.
Indians: LHP Logan Allen (1-5) will start Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against Boston at Progressive Field.
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