ARLINGTON, Texas — Michael Young provided fans with another reason to fire up the computer and vote for him for his seventh straight All-Star berth.
Young homered, Josh Hamilton stretched his home hitting streak to 27 games and the Texas Rangers beat the Cleveland Indians 4-3 on Wednesday night.
Young came back refreshed after his first day off of the season with a two-run homer in the fifth that drew the Rangers even at 3.
Entering Wednesday, Young was in a 4 for 25 slump, and manager Ron Washington said Young wasn't playing up to his All-Star standards and needed a break.
“When you play baseball as much as these guys do sometimes one day's all you need,” Washington said. “I tried as hard as I could to keep them out of the whole game because a whole day off means a lot to a baseball player.”
Young, the Rangers' career hit leader with 1,768, is competing with four others for the final slot on the AL All-Star team.
“I enjoy the All-Star Game, so I'd like to go, don't get me wrong,” Young said. “But it also would be nice to get the three days off.”
Hamilton extended the second-longest home hitting streak in club history with an RBI single in the first. Al Oliver hit in 30 straight Texas home games in 1981.
Julio Borbon's two-out single in the sixth off rookie Mitch Talbot (8-8) put Texas ahead.
Cleveland's Jayson Nix homered for the fourth time in three games.
Earlier in the day, Texas team president Nolan Ryan visited a hospital to check on a fan who fell about 30 feet from the second deck while trying to catch a foul ball Tuesday night.
Tyler Morris, a 25-year-old firefighter, sustained a head injury and sprained ankle but no internal injuries in the fall. Morris was expected to be released from the hospital soon, friends said. Ryan gave Morris the ball he missed, too.
Colby Lewis (8-5) allowed two earned runs and six hits in six innings, striking out eight.
Alexi Ogando pitched a perfect seventh, Frank Francisco retired the Indians in order in the eighth and Neftali Feliz got three outs for his 23rd save in 25 chances.
“The bullpen came in and did exactly what they've been doing all year. They shut it down,” Washington said.
The Rangers took two out of three from the Indians after losing four of their previous six.
“A team like this is not going to lose too many series in a row, with the bats we've got and what we've done on the mound,” Lewis said.
Nix, claimed off waivers from the White Sox on June 24, batted only .163 with a homer and five RBIs in 24 games for Chicago. He's been more productive in his 12 games for the Indians with five homers and eight RBIs.
Talbot allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings, losing for the fourth time in his last five starts.
The pitch Talbot regretted was a fastball down the middle that Young knocked into the seats.
“That was one of those pitches that got away from me and I paid for it,” Talbot said.
Seven batters were hit by pitches in the first two games of the series, and Texas' Andres Blanco became the eighth when he was struck in the leg by Talbot's fastball in the second inning.
Indians manager Manny Acta was ejected by first base umpire Tim Timmons with two outs in the ninth for arguing a checked-swing call.
Acta had taken off his cap in the dugout and waved it after Timmons called a strike on a checked-swing by Jason Donald. Timmons immediately tossed Acta for the gesture.
Acta raced to first base to argue, and after the game he said his young players don't always get the benefit of the doubt from umpires.
“It's a shame,” Acta said. “Everybody's talking about pace of the game. Here I get thrown out for taking my hat off and I have to go 150 feet (to argue) and delay the game. I know they're human, but I've been doing rebuilding jobs for four years and these kids don't get the benefit of the doubt.”
“They don't get the same check-swing calls as some of the other guys,” he said.
NOTES: Indians 1B Matt LaPorta didn't start for the second consecutive game after being accidentally elbowed in the head by Elvis Andrus on Monday night. LaPorta has a bruise on his head and a sore neck. ... Rangers DH Vladimir Guerrero and 2B Ian Kinsler got planned days off to rest, and LF Hamilton was the DH. ... The Rangers have enlisted Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten in their efforts to send Young to the All-Star Game, with Witten encouraging fans to vote online for Young.
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