ARLINGTON, TX —Franklin Gutierrez’s tiebreaking single in the ninth inning Sunday night led the Cleveland Indians past Texas 4-3 for their seventh straight win and a three-game sweep of the fading Rangers.
With the game tied at 3, Ryan Garko led off the ninth with a single off Eddie Guardado (3-3). Pinch runner Andy Gonzalez advanced to second on Kelly Shoppach’s sacrifice bunt, and Gonzalez raced home on Gutierrez’s single up the middle to give the Indians their longest winning streak of the season.
Rafael Betancourt (3-4) picked up the decision, pitching a perfect ninth after forcing in the tying run with a bases-loaded walk in the eighth.
The Indians took a 3-1 lead into the eighth behind seven strong innings from starter Anthony Reyes.
Reyes, who threw a season-high 107 pitches, allowed one run and four hits with four strikeouts and four walks. He was making his fourth start since coming over in a trade with St. Louis in July.
Texas tied the score with a two-run eighth inning. Gerald Laird’s two-out RBI double off Juan Rincon made it 3-2, and the Rangers went on to load the bases before Betancourt came on to walk pinch-hitter Ramon Vazquez.
The Rangers (63-68) lost for the 14th time in 17 games to fall five games under .500 for the first time since May 7.
Texas opened the scoring in the third inning on Milton Bradley’s RBI single.
Cleveland came back with a two-run fourth against Texas starter Vicente Padilla on Shin-Soo Choo’s RBI triple that skipped past Texas center fielder Josh Hamilton and Garko’s sacrifice fly.
Padilla hit David Dellucci with a bases-loaded pitch in the fifth to force in a run and stretch Cleveland’s advantage to 3-1.
Padilla allowed three runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out eight, walked one and hit two batters.