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Kipnis hits 2-run HR in 9th, Indians beat Rangers

Associated Press Modified: September 14, 2012 at 12:02 am •  Published: September 13, 2012

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jason Kipnis and the Cleveland Indians spoiled Joe Nathan's five-month perfect run out of the bullpen.

Kipnis hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Nathan and the Indians snapped a five-game losing streak, beating the Texas Rangers 5-4 Thursday night.

Nathan (2-4) had converted a club-record 31 straight save chances before the Indians erased a 4-2 deficit in the ninth. The right-hander's only other blown save this season came April 11 against Seattle.

"It's special any time you do it," Kipnis said. "You're in the big leagues. Everybody is a big name here."

Ezequiel Carrera homered leading off the ninth. Pinch-hitter Russ Canzler singled to bring up Kipnis.

The Cleveland second baseman lined a 1-0 pitch several rows deep into the seats in right.

After Kipnis' drive, Carlos Santana doubled to chase Nathan without him recording an out.

"I know my location was off," Nathan said of his pitch to Kipnis. "It was supposed to be down and away and I yanked one."

The Rangers remained three games ahead of Oakland in the AL West after the Athletics lost to the Los Angeles Angels.

Scott Maine (1-0) got the final two outs in the eighth in his third appearance with the Indians this season. Chris Perez pitched the ninth for his 36th save in 40 tries, helping Cleveland avoid a three-game sweep.

"It was a great team win," Indians first baseman Matt LaPorta said.

The Rangers scored twice to take a 4-2 lead in the eighth with the help of two errors.

Elvis Andrus reached on shortstop Brent Lillibridge's second throwing error of the game and scored when third baseman Jack Hannahan couldn't handle Nelson Cruz's grounder. Michael Young added an RBI single that gave the Rangers a two-run lead.

The Indians overcame three errors that lead to three unearned runs.

"We tried to give it away," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. "We didn't play very good defense. That was a great comeback against a guy like Joe Nathan."

Texas slugger Josh Hamilton, who leads the majors with 41 home runs and 121 RBIs, missed the game with soreness in his left knee. Rookie Leonys Martin started in Hamilton's place.

Hamilton left Wednesday night in the eighth inning and received an injection after the game. Texas manager Ron Washington said he doesn't think it's a serious injury and Hamilton is expected to be back in the lineup Friday.

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