Oscar Mercado, Yu Chang, Austin Hedges and Franmil Reyes clubbed solo homers and Zach Plesac pitched into the sixth inning as the Cleveland Indians beat the visiting Texas Rangers 7-2 on Wednesday.
Mercado, Chang and Hedges each had two hits while Chang and Owen Miller drove in two runs apiece for Cleveland.
The Indians evened the three-game set behind Plesac (8-4), who grinded out 5 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits and three walks but two runs, both on only Jason Martin’s homer in the sixth. Plesac struck out four.
Making his major league debut, Texas’ Jake Latz (0-1) yielded three runs on three homers in 4 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits while striking out four without a walk.
The Rangers, who have seven players sidelined due to COVID-19-related issues, stranded nine runners and went 2-for-13 with men in scoring position.
Latz opened his big-league career by retiring the side in order in the first inning. However, with one out in the second, Mercado took the left-hander deep to left field.
Latz regrouped and looked strong until the fifth, when he gave up Chang’s homer that just cleared the right field fence for a 2-0 Cleveland edge. Two batters later, Hedges went deep to left. After allowing a single to the next batter, Myles Straw, Latz’s evening was done.
Texas was 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position before Martin (two hits) finally came through to make it a 3-2 game with his long drive into the right field seats in the sixth. However, the Indians added two in the bottom of that frame, getting an RBI double from Chang and an RBI single from Miller.
Reyes added some insurance with his 23rd home run of the year in the seventh. Miller drove in his second run of the night with a ninth-inning fielder’s choice.
Related: MLB games today – Offseason Schedule
–Field Level Media