ARLINGTON, Texas: Mitch Moreland’s grand slam capped a bizarre, five-run first inning for Texas and A.J. Griffin pitched six strong innings as the Rangers beat the Indians 7-0 Saturday night.
Griffin (6-3) allowed five hits while winning for the first time since Aug. 4. In making his first scoreless start of the season, Griffin didn’t allow a home run for the first time in 12 starts.
Carlos Carrasco (9-7) allowed seven runs — four unearned in the first — and eight hits in four innings while striking out eight. He went into the game with a 1.74 road ERA this season, the best in the majors.
After Ian Desmond’s one-out single in the first, Carlos Beltran snapped a career-worst 0-for-32 hitless streak with an infield single to the left side against a shift. The runners moved up on a balk when Carrasco began a pickoff throw to first base but halted because first baseman Carlos Santana was 20 feet from the bag.
On Adrian Beltre’s sharp grounder to third, Desmond dove back and beat Jose Ramirez’s tag to load the bases. Rougned Odor’s hard grounder to first bounced off Santana’s glove for a run-scoring error and Moreland pulled a first-pitch slider just inside the right-field foul pole with two out for his second career slam.
Elvis Andrus doubled in two runs in the third inning after Moreland was intentionally walked with two out.
Texas has the American League’s best record, two games ahead of Cleveland. The Rangers increased their West lead to 7½ games while the Indians maintained their 4½-game lead in the Central.
The Indians were shut out by the Rangers for the second time in three games after being blanked only three times in the previous 125 games this season.
Rangers right-hander Jeremy Jeffress spent his second day on the restricted list as Major League Baseball continued to look into the pitcher’s arrest on a drunken driving charge early Friday morning in Dallas. … Ramirez had three hits for his third multi-hit game in his last four. … Indians catcher Chris Gimenez pitched the eighth inning.
Manager Terry Francona said there’s no timetable for when catcher Yan Gomes (right shoulder separation) will begin a rehab session.
Right-hander Danny Salazar (11-5) has compiled a 10.41 ERA over six starts in July and August, lasting only 11 total innings in his last four outings.