ARLINGTON (AP) — Victor Martinez, Josh Barfield and Jason Michaels drove in two runs apiece to help the Cleveland Indians beat the Texas Rangers 8-3 Sunday night.
Barfield went 3-for-4 and scored two runs and Casey Blake also had three hits for Cleveland, which bounced back one night after Martinez and teammate Cliff Lee had an animated discussion during an 8-5 loss to Texas. The Indians also held a closed-door meeting after Saturday night’s game.
Martinez, an All-Star catcher, made just his 15th start of the season at first base. His RBI single in the fifth put Cleveland ahead 3-0 and ignited a three-run inning. He added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Cleveland won three of four against the Rangers and moved within a game of first-place Detroit in the American League Central.
Cleveland’s Paul Byrd (8-4) did not allow a hit until Marlon Byrd tripled with two outs in the fourth. Paul Byrd allowed two runs and three hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Robinson Tejeda (5-9) allowed five runs, three earned, and five hits in five innings for Texas. Since going 3-1 in April, Tejeda is 2-8 with a 7.93 ERA.
Before the game, Cleveland manager Eric Wedge downplayed Saturday night’s players-only meeting. When asked about possible tension between Martinez and Lee, he said: “They had a discussion during the game, but nothing beyond that.”
Texas slugger Sammy Sosa was not in the starting lineup after getting hit in the head by a pitch Saturday. Sosa said before the game that he was fine, and manager Ron Washington said he plans to have Sosa back in the lineup Monday night against the Seattle Mariners.
Rangers catcher Gerald Laird left the game in the second inning with a bruised left hand after he was hit on an inside pitch from Byrd. Preliminary X-rays were negative and Laird’s status is day to day.
Adam Melhuse replaced Laird behind the plate.
Third baseman Travis Metcalf’s error in the fourth inning put runners on second and third for Barfield, who delivered a two-out, two-run single to left to put Cleveland ahead 2-0.