CLEVELAND (AP) — Vinnie Pestano took advantage of his chance to save a Cleveland Indians win.
With All-Star closer Chris Perez unavailable and the Indians entering with a six-game losing streak, Pestano went from his role as setup man to get the final four outs and save a 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.
"A little extra work never hurt anybody," Pestano said after his first save of the season and fourth of his career.
The win was Cleveland's sixth in 34 games since July 27 and came with Perez not even at the ballpark. He was with his wife Melanie, who delivered a baby girl earlier in the day.
"The bullpen was terrific," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "To stop these guys is huge. At any moment (the Rangers) can turn around the score."
Acta said he had no worries about putting Pestano in to pitch in the eighth inning with two outs and a runner on first.
"He was the best guy out there to stop the losing streak," Acta said. "We had to take care of the game today."
The Indians are just 12-36 since the All-Star break, with losing streaks of 11, nine and six games.
Texas entered with a four-game lead in the AL West over Oakland and lost for just the fifth time in 16 games.
"It's not always the best team that wins, it's the team that plays the best," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "They put four runs on us in the first inning and they made it stand up."
Jeanmar Gomez (5-7) gave up three runs and four hits over 5 2-3 innings in his first start for Cleveland since June. He was recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday.
Cleveland tagged Scott Feldman (6-11) early and improved to 42-24 when scoring four or more runs.
Carlos Santana had a two-run single before Casey Kotchman and Jack Hannahan each had RBI groundouts in the first inning for the 4-0 lead.
"We had a lot of quality at-bats that inning," Acta said. "Then we allowed Feldman to get into a groove and he was dropping his breaking ball over the plate."
Feldman pitched shutout ball for his last five innings, but fell to 0-5 in five starts since Aug. 5.
"It was a nightmare first inning there," Feldman said. "They came out swinging and it seemed like everything they swung at they got some hits. I dug a little too deep a hole."
David Murphy hit his 12th homer leading off the third for the Rangers' first hit. He walked to open the fifth and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mitch Moreland to make it 4-2.