CLEVELAND (AP) — Trevor Bauer pitched into the seventh inning, Michael Brantley drove in two runs and Cleveland beat the Texas Rangers 5-3 in Francona’s return to the team.
Francona was cleared to come back after another health scare forced him to leave Monday’s game and miss Tuesday’s contest. The 58-year-old Francona has been fitted with a heart monitor, but he said doctors have ruled out any serious health issues.
“I always want us to win,” he said. “We show up, the idea is to win. I don’t care if you feel good or bad or in between, that’s why we’re here.”
Bauer (7-6) held Texas to one run — Robinson Chirinos’ homer — and four hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Bauer was helped by two outstanding defensive plays. Rookie center fielder Bradley Zimmer took away an extra base hit from Shin-Soo Choo with a sliding catch in the fourth. Jose Ramirez made a diving stop of Adrian Beltre’s hard grounder behind third base and threw him out with two runners on in the sixth.
“I thought the ball was a double that Zimmer ran down,” Bauer said. “He made a tough play look fairly easy. The play Jose made kind of saved that inning. I got a lot of help from the defense.”
Brantley had RBI singles in the third and the seventh. Ramirez, Francisco Lindor and Edwin Encarnacion also drove in runs.
Yu Darvish (6-6) gave up three runs — two earned — in six innings and has one win in his last seven starts. The right-hander pitched seven shutout innings in his last start, but left as a precaution with tightness in his triceps.
Darvish missed the entire 2015 season because of Tommy John surgery, which caused him some concern between starts that turned out to be an unnecessary worry.
“Coming in, I thought, ‘Man, this may be my last outing (of the year) because of the triceps,'” he said through a translator. “It crossed my mind because that was where I was hurting — my triceps area — before I had surgery. But it didn’t feel that way when I got out there, and by the fifth or sixth inning, I wasn’t thinking about it at all. I feel fine.”
Andrew Miller struck out four of the five batters he faced. Elvis Andrus hit a leadoff homer in the ninth off Cody Allen. Rougned Odor added an RBI single, but Allen struck out Chirinos to end the game.
Cleveland has won five of six against Texas this season.
Rangers left fielder Nomar Mazara dropped Jason Kipnis’ fly ball for a two-base error to begin Cleveland’s first. Lindor’s single to right put the Indians ahead.
Francona was hospitalized for the second time this month with a rapid heart rate and feeling lightheaded during Monday’s game and wasn’t at the ballpark Tuesday.
Pitching coach Mickey Callaway changed pitchers in the seventh inning, but Francona was in the dugout the entire game.
Andrus was 3 for 4 and has hit in 32 of 34 career games at Progressive Field. He’s batting .420 (55 for 131) in Cleveland’s ballpark.
Miller has struck out 64 in 41 1/3 innings and has recorded three or more strikeouts in 12 appearances this season.
STILL HEARING IT
Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy has been booed throughout the series. Indians fans haven’t forgotten that he turned down a trade that would have sent him from Milwaukee to Cleveland at last season’s deadline.
Rangers: OF Carlos Gomez (sore back) was not in the lineup for the second day in a row. He struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar (sore shoulder) will throw a simulated game Friday at Double-A Akron.
Rangers: RHP Andrew Cashner will be activated off the 10-day DL to make his first start since June 14. He has been sidelined with a strained left oblique.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber struck out a season-high 13 against Minnesota on June 24. His three straight double-digit strikeout games are one shy of the franchise record.
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