CLEVELAND (AP) — Lucas Giolito struck out a season-high 12 over seven scoreless innings, Josh Naylor and Andrés Giménez each drove in three runs, and the Cleveland Guardians routed the Texas Rangers 12-3 on Friday night.
Texas, which had its six-game winning streak halted, currently holds the second AL wild-card berth. The Rangers also are second in the West, where first-place Houston and third-place Seattle are separated by 1 1/2 games.
Giolito (8-13), claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 31, allowed two hits and one walk. The right-hander had lost his previous five starts, and was 1-8 with a 6.99 ERA in 12 combined outings with the White Sox, Angels and Guardians since July 4.
“I had the type of start that I like to have every fifth day,” said Giolito, who threw 100 pitches. “Being here in this environment with these guys, it’s been very nice after a very hectic month-plus.”
Naylor matched his career high with four hits and Giménez hit a two-run homer off right-hander Jon Gray (8-8), who allowed three runs in 3 2/3 innings and is winless in six starts since Aug. 11.
Cleveland, which is eight games behind Minnesota in the AL Central with 14 to play, scored 12 runs for the first time since June 18 at Arizona.
“That’s the Giolito I know and have faced in the past,” Naylor said. “He killed it tonight. I’m so happy for him and I’m sure it’s a little weight off his shoulders.”
Texas got on the board in the ninth when Sam Huff homered against Eli Morgan. Backup catcher Austin Hedges, who pitched a scoreless eighth, added a two-run single.
Relievers Andrew Heaney and Ian Kennedy gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings.
“It was an off-night everywhere for us,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “What you saw was a good pitcher in Giolito on top of his game. Give him credit.”
Ramón Laureano, who scored three runs and reached base five times, had a solo homer and Kole Calhoun hit a two-run shot.
Will Brennan had a two-run double in the sixth, when Cleveland scored five times off Andrew Heaney to go up 9-0. José Ramírez and Naylor added RBI doubles in the inning.
“We haven’t had many of these games, so it’s nice to be able to relax a little bit,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said.
Rangers OF Adolis García (right patellar tendon strain) joined the team in Cleveland, but is not eligible to be activated from the 10-day injured list until Sept. 18. The two-time AL All-Star was injured in the outfield against Houston on Sept. 6.
“It’s good to have Adolis around and we’ll see where he is (physically) when we leave here,” Bochy said. “He’s doing some easy running and will continue swinging the bat and doing baseball stuff this weekend.”
Garcia leads Texas with 34 homers and 100 RBIs, both in the top three in the AL.
Rangers: DH Mitch Garver (left foot bruise), who fouled a pitch off his foot Thursday, was in the lineup batting fourth. Garver exited the game in Toronto in the seventh inning. “We should give him another day, but he said he was good to go,” Bochy said.
Guardians: RHP Shane Bieber (right elbow inflammation) will make his next rehab start Sunday for Triple-A Columbus, while RHP Triston McKenzie (right elbow sprain) pitches for the Clippers on Tuesday. Both starters are on track to be activated next week.
Rangers RHP Dane Dunning (10-6, 3.91 ERA) faces Guardians RHP Tanner Bibee (10-4, 3.03 ERA). Bibee is second among AL rookies with 137 strikeouts and sits one win behind co-leaders Hunter Brown and J.P. France of Houston.
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