CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Indians had not swept the Texas Rangers in Cleveland in 33 years. That streak ended Sunday with Ubaldo Jimenez throwing one of his best outings in an Indians uniform.
Jimenez went eight innings, allowing no runs on two hits with six K’s as the Indians swept the Rangers with a 6-0 win.
“I thought he threw his fastball really effectively, he was in and he was out,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
It was the longest outing for Jimenez since he went eight innings in an Indians 5-0 win over the Rays back on June 1st.
“I was able to throw my fastball over, and was able to stay aggressive,” Jimenez said.
In his last eight outings, Jimenez went just 39 total innings, with going five innings or less in five of those eight trips to the mound.
Sunday he was good from the start, not letting his pitch count climb, and got out of the biggest jam in the fifth when there was runners on second and third with one out.
He came close to his first complete game since June 1st, 2011 when with the Colorado Rockies, about a month and a half before the trade to the Tribe.
For the Indians it was their 14th shutout of the season, most in Major League Baseball. They were tied with the Pirates and Rays entering play Sunday.
“There’s been some days when we’ve absolutely needed them,” Francona said.
Vinnie Pestano worked the ninth, getting a double play to secure the shutout.
The Tribe is 16-4 against the AL West now in 2013, their best winning percentage vs the division since 1999 when the Indians went 29-13 vs the West.
The game remained scoreless till the bottom of the fifth, when Jason Kipnis singled to right to bring in Michael Bourn with two outs.
The inning started after Lonnie Chisenhall and Yan Gomes struck out and grounded out. Bourn walked and Nick Swisher singled to center.
Kipnis hit a pop to right, which dropped in front of Nelson Cruz to score Bourn to make it 1-0.
“We made (Rangers starter Alexi) Ogando work, we got his pitch count up,” Francona said.
With Jimenez sailing, the Indians put three on the board in the sixth to put the game away.
Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana singled to start the inning, and Ryan Raburn flied out to right to put Brantley at third.
After Mike Aviles, pinch-hitting for Chisenhall, fouled out, Gomes singled to center to score Brantley to make it 2-0.
Bourn then put the big blow on the Rangers with a double off the wall in center to score both Santana and Gomes to make it 4-0.
While they needed no more, they got two more in the 8th when Aviles hit his 6th homer of the season to put the Tribe up 6-0.
The win puts the Indians at 56-48, and they stay within three of the Tigers as Detroit pounded the Phillies in Detroit.
The Rangers drop to 56-49.
The Indians start a series with the AL Central rival White Sox on Monday night at Progressive Field.
Monday will see Zach McAllister get his first home start since coming off the DL, as he will take on lefty John Danks for the Sox.
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