ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cleveland Indians knew they were in for a tough stretch when they opened a seven-game road trip against division leaders Boston and Texas on Aug. 1.
Considering the strength of the competition, manager Manny Acta said there was no shame in completing a 3-4 trip with after a 5-3 loss to the Rangers on Sunday night.
"We knew when we started this road trip that it was a tough one that could make us or break us," Acta said. "Despite four heartbreaking losses, these guys kept their heads above water. We had a chance to win every one of them. It's better than being buried."
The Indians seemed in good shape to take two of three from the Rangers when they carried a 3-0 lead into the eighth. But Elvis Andrus drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a two-run single in Texas' five-run eighth.
Texas came back twice against the Indians in Friday night's 8-7 win in 11 innings. After Cleveland rallied for a 7-5 victory Saturday night, the Rangers pulled off their second comeback of the series.
Indians starter Josh Tomlin shut out the Rangers over seven innings, but the 25-year-old right-hander walked Mike Napoli leading off the eighth and gave up a single to Mitch Moreland, his final batter.
"In that eighth inning, I've got to do a better job of going after hitters. I didn't get the job done," Tomlin said. "I can't walk the leadoff guy with a 3-0 lead."
Andrus followed with his two-run single to center to put the Rangers in front, and Josh Hamilton's RBI groundout against Rafael Perez made it 5-3.
Smith didn't record an out, allowing three runs and three hits.
"(Tomlin) threw seven great innings, and I came in and didn't get the job done," Smith said. "I blew it, I was terrible."
Michael Young, Texas' career hits leader, reached 2,000 with infield singles in the fifth and seventh.
Michael Brantley homered and drove in two runs for the Indians, who went 1-6 against Texas in the season series that concluded on Sunday.
The Indians stayed four games behind Detroit in the AL Central after the Tigers' 4-3 loss to Kansas City.
Tomlin, a Texas native pitching in front of a contingent of family and friends, allowed two runs and four hits with four strikeouts and three walks in his first career appearance against the Rangers.
The Indians got their offense started on Lonnie Chisenhall's sacrifice fly in the second. In the fifth, Ezequiel Carrera singled and scored on Brantley's triple to make it 2-0.
Brantley's sixth homer made it 3-0 in the eighth.
NOTES: The temperature at first pitch was 102, four degrees cooler than Saturday night's record heat for Rangers Ballpark. ... Tomlin has lasted at least five innings in all 35 big league starts. ... According to data provided to the Indians by Elias Sports Bureau, 2B Jason Kipnis is the first Cleveland player with five homers in his first 13 major league games since Luis Medina in 1988. The last player on any team with five homers in his first 13 big league games was Texas' Taylor Teagarden in 2008. ... The Indians have Monday off before opening a three-game home series at home against Detroit.