ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Texas left-hander Derek Holland needed only 11 pitches to strike out the first three batters of the game.
Rangers leadoff hitter Elvis Andrus then singled on the second pitch he saw.
That was about as good as it got for Holland and the Rangers on Tuesday night in a 5-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians, who had lost eight in a row overall and 12 straight on the road.
``Thought I had a good game that first inning, when I was in control,' Holland said. ``It was just an overall terrible performance. I didn't have my fastball. I made some pitches that they just found holes.'
Andrus certainly thought the Rangers were off to a fast start that would lead to another good night overall for the AL West leaders.
``I thought so. Holland had a pretty good start,' Andrus said. ``In the first and second innings, we got on first (base) and then they got a double play.'
After his leadoff single, Andrus was quickly doubled off when David Murphy lined out to third base. Nelson Cruz grounded into a double play after A.J. Pierzynski's leadoff walk in the second.
The Rangers were down 5-0 before Murphy had an RBI double in the eighth, the only run off Indians starter Corey Kluber (4-4), pitching less than 25 miles from where he went to high school. Pierzynski homered in the ninth.
Maybe the Rangers grounds crew shouldn't have fixed that leak behind the mound so fast.
Neither team took pregame batting practice on the field after a busted water pipe under the infield caused a sinkhole right behind the mound. Workers had to dig more than 3 feet deep to try to fix the pipe, but completed the repair and had the grass back in place behind the mound about an hour before the game.
With his team mired in the losing streak, Indians manager Terry Francona joked before the game that there were no Bull Durham-like shenanigans by his team trying to get a day off. In the movie, Kevin Costner's character caused a rain delay by turning on the sprinklers.
But the Indians were just fine, with every starter in their lineup getting a hit.
Holland lasted only 4 1-3 innings in his shortest outing of the season after going 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA his previous seven starts. He gave up four runs and nine hits.
The left-hander had only one more strikeout after the first and was gone after his only walk loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, after the Indians had already scored three times that inning. The Ohio native had been 3-0 in six previous career starts against Cleveland.
``You've got to give the Indians hitters credit. They fought for their at_bats and make him work. They got some hits when it mattered,' Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ``You're going to have some days when it just doesn't work out.'
Ryan Raburn had a leadoff double in the Cleveland fourth and scored on Mark Reynolds' second hit of the game. Reynolds was 2 for 25 the first seven games of the trip that ends with Wednesday's series finale.
Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles, the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters in the Indians lineup, had consecutive singles to start the fifth. Both moved up a base on Holland's errant pickoff throw into center when trying to pick Gomes off second base. Drew Stubbs followed with a two-run single before Jason Kipnis was hit by a pitch to bring up Nick Swisher, whose RBI single came after only two hits his previous 28 at_bats.
``It's good to get back in the `W' column,' Reynolds said. ``We can stop worrying about it now and just relax and play ball.'
After Kluber walked Leury Garcia and Andrus to start the sixth, Garcia was thrown out trying to advance to third on Murphy's flyout to left.
Kluber struck out three with three walks and benefited from three double plays. He didn't throw more than 10 pitches in an inning until the sixth.
``It really wasn't any different than another game,' Kluber insisted. ``I've seen, I couldn't tell you how many games here. I've thrown here in college summer league. ... It really didn't feel any different.'
NOTES: Andrus has hit in all 34 career games against Cleveland, the longest hitting streak ever by a Texas player against one opponent. ... Rangers DH Lance Berkman reached in the first on a bunt single toward third base - with the Indians infield shifted the other way and third baseman Reynolds near shortstop.
The Associated Press News Service
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