Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre homered before each left the game with injuries, and the Rangers beat the slumping Cleveland Indians 5-2.
Hamilton didn’t take the field in the top of the 8th inning, and the Rangers announced just before the game ended the slugger was forced out because of left knee soreness.
Beltre hit a 2-run homer in the 1st, his 13th in his last 20 games, before exiting in the 5th with a strained left shoulder.
Ryan Dempster (11-6) won his 5th straight start and improved to 6-1 since he was acquired by the Rangers on July 31. The right-hander allowed 2 runs and struck out 8 in 7 innings.
Hamilton hit a solo shot in the 3rd. He leads the majors with 41 home runs and 121 RBIs.
Carlos Santana and Casey Kotchman each had an RBI for Cleveland Indians, which led the American League Central on June 23 but is 15-43 since the All-Star break.
Cleveland starter Jeanmar Gomez (5-8) permitted 5 runs and 6 hits in 4 innings. Gomez, who won his previous 2 starts against Texas this season, hasn’t pitched more than 6 innings in his last 9 starts.
Joe Nathan, who has converted his last 31 save opportunities, pitched the 9th for his 33rd save of the season.
Texas started the day 3 games before Oakland in the American League West. The A’s played the Los Angeles Angels in a game late Wednesday.
Beltre injured his shoulder when he made a diving stop of Russ Canzler’s grounder in the 2nd. He stayed in the game till the 5th. The Texas Rangers commented Beltre will have a precautionary MRI.
Mike Olt, who replaced Beltre at 3rd, left the game in the bottom of the 7th. Olt was limping just before he reached 1st beating an infield single.NFL betting lines
Ian Kinsler moved to 3rd base for the 1st time in his career in the top of the 8th, and Jurickson Profar took over for Kinsler at 2nd base.
Kinsler led off the base of the 1st with a double and scored on Hamilton’s groundout to set the stage for a surging Beltre. Beltre hit a 1-0 pitch from Gomez over the fence in left to give the Texas Rangers a 3-0 lead. It was his 7th home run in September.
Hamilton’s 434-foot blast landed several rows deep in the upper deck in right field. It was his 5th homer in his last 10 games.
That was lots of support for Dempster, who retired the last 9 batters he faced. Dempster has a 1.91 ERA over his last 5 starts. His 8 strikeouts were his most since joining the Texas Rangers.
Notes: Indians SS Asdrubal Cabrera (sore right wrist) took batting practice Wednesday, but missed his 3rd straight game. Cleveland RHP Roberto Hernandez (right ankle) is out of his walking boot and is predicted to throw a bullpen session early the week after next. Texas opens the 2013 season at Houston, who will be playing their 1st season in the American League West.