ARLINGTON, Texas — Both of Cleveland’s new relievers got into the game before the Indians closer had a rare blown save.
Manager Terry Francona had to go deep into his bullpen — using seven relievers after All-Star starter Trevor Bauer’s early exit — before the big hitters in the heart of the lineup finally put Cleveland ahead to stay.
Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI single in the 11th inning to lift the Indians to a 9-8 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night. Jose Ramirez, who earlier had hit his majors-best 30th homer, had a leadoff double off the right-center wall against Matt Moore (1-6).
Those key hits came after Zach McAllister (1-2) worked out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the 10th inning.
Elvis Andrus was retired on a force at home after Ronald Guzman’s grounder to third baseman Ramirez. Robinson Chirinos and Joey Gallo — whose back-to-back homers off closer Cody Allen with two outs in the ninth had tied the game — then both struck out.
“Tough that we lost,” Gallo said. “I think it showed the grit in this team, though. … Personally, it was a pretty good game for me, but I did want to win it there in my last at-bat.”
Shin-Soo Choo, the only All-Star this season for the Rangers, singled in each of his first two at-bats to extend his majors-best on-base streak to 52 games.
Gallo homered twice, giving him 24 for the season. His two-run blast to right-center in the seventh got the Rangers within 7-6 when he was the first batter to face Brad Hand, the Indians’ newly acquired All-Star reliever.
Hand, who was the closer for the Padres, and rookie right-handed sidearmer Adam Cimber were traded from San Diego on Thursday. Hand retired his next three batters and was followed by Cimber, who gave up a one-out single before inducing a double-play grounder that ended the eighth.
“I thought it was good we got Hand in. Well, we got everybody in. Hand, I think he got a little slider happy with Gallo. If he just probably elevated the fastball, I think he’d have been OK,” Francona said. “But Cimber came in and did a really good job after giving up an 0-2 hit.”
Allen had only one blown save in his 21 chances before the All-Star break.
Bauer had a season-high five walks and allowed nine hits, and was pulled after three consecutive singles to start the fifth. Bauer struck out seven. He also started Sunday in Cleveland’s last game, and didn’t pitch in the All-Star Game.
With a temperature of 107 degrees at first pitch, it was the hottest start ever for game at the Rangers ballpark, which is in its 25th season. It was still 92 degrees when the game ended 4 hours and 48 minutes later — just a few minutes before midnight.
The only hotter game in the majors this season was July 7, at 108 degrees when the Los Angeles Angels threw their first pitch against the Dodgers.