Murphy, Salazar lead Indians past Rangers, 12-2
CLEVELAND (AP) — David Murphy had a big night against his former team.
Murphy was 4 for 4 with two RBIs and threw a runner out at the plate, and the Cleveland Indians routed the Texas Rangers 12-2.
Murphy played for Texas from 2007-13 before signing a two-year contract with the Indians in November.
“Obviously when you’re playing against your friends, a lot of guys I played with over there are gone, but playing for bragging rights, it can be fun,” he said.
Murphy had a two-run double in the fifth when Cleveland scored six times. He doubled in the second and added singles in the fourth and sixth. Murphy also threw out Adrian Beltre at home from right field in the second.
“That was fun because it was Adrian and I did play with him,” Murphy said. “I can talk a little trash with him.”
Murphy even played through an attempt to make a diving catch on a foul ball in the eighth inning that tore his pants.
“I’ve been known to go through some pairs of pants,” he said. “They’re double-layered, but I still go through them. I’ve done it plenty of times.”
Danny Salazar (4-4) allowed an unearned run in six innings and won his third straight start since being recalled from the minors last month. The right-hander was moved into Friday’s start to replace Justin Masterson, who was traded to St. Louis on Wednesday.
“I feel like I’m making progress every time I go out there,” Salazar said.
Mike Aviles, who will be getting time at shortstop after Asdrubal Cabrera was dealt to Washington on Thursday, drove in three runs. Michael Brantley also had three hits and two RBIs as the Indians finished with 16 hits. Lonnie Chisenhall hit a solo homer in the sixth to help the Indians get their fourth win in 12 games.
“We haven’t had many games like that,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “We’ve had so many close games. It’s nice to have some breathing room.”
Jerome Williams (2-5) was charged with 10 runs in four-plus innings.
The Rangers, starting a nine-game road trip, have lost 17 of 20 away from home.
Rougned Odor’s groundout in the fifth scored Texas’ run off Salazar.
The Indians have won nine of 10 against Texas.
The Indians have been making changes in their rotation all season, a trend that continued Friday when they designated right-hander Zach McAllister for assignment. McAllister will be sent to the minors once he clears waivers, but it’s unclear when he’ll return to the Indians. Right-hander Josh Tomlin, sent down last week, will likely start Tuesday against Cincinnati.
The Indians will unveil a statue of slugger Jim Thome, who hit a franchise-record 337 home runs while playing for Cleveland, before Saturday night’s game. Thome, who played for the Indians from 1991-2002 and again in 2011, was a key member of the teams that played in front of 455 consecutive sellout crowds in the 1990s.
Rangers: Catcher Geovany Soto began an injury rehabilitation assignment Friday for Triple-A Round Rock. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 22 after straining his right groin. Soto appeared in three games for the Rangers after being activated from a season-long DL stint on July 17 following right knee surgery.
Indians: Left fielder Chris Dickerson was out of the lineup Friday with a sore left knee. He was injured when he awkwardly attempted to catch a ball that fell for a double Thursday. While Dickerson isn’t expected to miss much time, the Indians recalled outfielder Tyler Holt from Triple-A Columbus.
Rangers right-hander Miles Mikolas will make his sixth career start Saturday. He’s 1-3 with an 8.54 ERA and opponents are batting .315 against him. Left-hander T.J. House will be called up from Triple-A Columbus to make his 10th career start. House, who is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA, has already been with the Indians three times this season.