ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Lance Lynn had another quality start, Danny Santana homered and the Texas Rangers beat Cleveland 7-2 on Monday night to spoil Mike Clevinger’s return from the injured list.
Lynn (8-4) struck out nine without a walk and gave up one run over seven innings. The veteran right-hander, in his first season with Texas, has gone at least six innings in 10 consecutive starts, allowing three runs or fewer in the last eight.
Santana hit a two-run homer after Willie Calhoun’s two-out walk in the fourth. Clevinger was done after consecutive two-out walks in the fifth, with both of those scoring to make it 5-1 when Elvis Andrus doubled on reliever Tyler Clippard’s second pitch.
Clevinger (1-1) struck out seven and walked three in his first start since April 7. He threw 12 scoreless innings with 22 strikeouts his first two starts before missing more than two months because of a muscle strain in his upper back.
There was a concerning moment in the second inning when Clevinger was coming off the mound on a grounder. The right-hander appeared to immediately take pressure off his left leg and dropped to the ground after an initial awkward step. Clevinger stayed down momentarily while being checked on by manager Terry Francona and a trainer, then got up and threw a couple of warmup tosses.
Francisco Lindor and Oscar Mercado hit solo homers for Cleveland. Lindor’s 12th homer , in the fifth, was the only run off Lynn.
Santana singled in the sixth for his third consecutive multi-hit game. He then scored from second base on a wild pitch by Tyler Olson that hit the brick backstop and ricocheted toward the Rangers dugout on the first base side.
The stadium sustained minor damage during heavy storms Sunday. The National Weather Service confirmed an F1 tornado with winds of 95 mph touched down briefly nearby. It was unclear if the tornado was responsible for the damage that included wind screens ripped away and some roof damage above some upper left-field seats that were unoccupied Monday night. The team said there was no damage at its new ballpark being built across the street.
Indians: To clear a roster spot for Clevinger, LHP Josh Smith was optioned to Triple-A Columbus and RHP Corey Kluber was transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list. Kluber has been cleared for strengthening activities, but it is still uncertain when he will resume throwing.
Rangers: OF Joey Gallo (left oblique strain), out since June 2, is set to go to the team’s spring training complex in Arizona on Tuesday to continue his rehab. He was scheduled to be there Monday, but worked out in Texas after his flight got canceled. … OF Hunter Pence (right groin strain) was put on the 10-day injured list, and Calhoun was activated from the IL. RF Nomar Mazara (right hamstring tightness) missed his second game in a row.
Indians: Rookie right-hander Zach Plesac (1-2, 2.92 ERA) in his last start, Wednesday against Cincinnati, became the first Indians pitcher ever to allow homers to the first two batters of a home game.
Rangers: RHP Adrian Sampson (5-3) was without a big league victory before going 5-0 with a 3.19 ERA his last six games (three starts).