ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Austin Hedges and Bobby Bradley homered, Jose Ramirez drove in three runs, and rookie Eli Morgan won his third straight start as the Cleveland Indians drubbed the Texas Rangers 9-4 on Friday night.
The Indians, playing the final series with the name they’ve used since 1915, must win their two remaining games to avoid their first losing record since 2012. The team will be called the Guardians starting next season.
Morgan (5-7) allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings on seven hits, including homers by Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Nathaniel Lowe. He allowed only one run over 12 innings in his previous two starts, beating the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox.
Hedges homered in the third and Bradley in the fourth.
Jose Trevino hit a two-run homer in Texas' ninth.
Ramirez had an RBI single in the third and a two-run single in the fourth. His 103 RBIs this season are two short of his career high. He also stole his 27th base of the year.
Texas rookie starter Spencer Howard (0-5) allowed eight runs, five earned, in 3 2/3 innings, throwing a season-high 73 pitches. Howard gave up both homers, five hits and three walks.
Staked to a 2-0 lead in the second inning, Howard was rocked for four runs in the third. He allowed the homer to Hedges, two singles, two walks, two stolen bases and a wild pitch with the bases loaded.
Lowe had three hits. Kiner-Falefa’s homer was his first since Aug. 8.
Howard has lost three of his eight Texas starts since being acquired July 30 in the trade that sent No. 1 starter Kyle Gibson and closer Ian Kennedy to Philadelphia. His ERA with the Rangers is 9.70.
Indians: OF/DH Franmil Reyes (neck stiffness) was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game. ... C Roberto Perez (knee) should catch Saturday or Sunday.
Bryan Shaw’s scoreless eighth inning was his 457th relief appearance in six seasons with Cleveland to set the franchise record, breaking a tie with Cody Allen. ... The Rangers’ 12-15 September record was their best monthly mark this season. ... Cleveland placed INF Owen Miller placed on the bereavement/family medical emergency list and recalled RHP James Karinchak from Triple-A Columbus. Karinchak, making his first Indians appearance since Aug. 27, pitched a perfect seventh inning with one strikeout.
Indians rookie RHP Triston McKenzie (5-8, 4.81 ERA) struggled through his last two starts, allowing 10 runs in 6 2/3 innings on 14 hits and four walks.
Rangers RHP Jordan Lyles (9-13, 5.31) has allowed the major leagues’ most home runs (38) and the third-highest opponents batting average among qualifying starters (.284).