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CLE@TEX: Choice jacks a solo homer to left field

ARLINGTON -- Nick Martinez had said it himself, just one day earlier.

By being the final starter in a four-game series against the Indians on Monday night, Martinez had the opportunity to keenly observe and study his opponents for the first three games.

He'd been able to watch the Indians record nine hits against Rangers ace Yu Darvish Friday, only to turn around and put up eight runs the next day on Saturday. He studied their tendencies at the plate, watching how the other Rangers pitchers addressed them.

"I've definitely been taking notes on a lot on guys, our starters and relievers," Martinez said Sunday. "But sometimes [the Indians] kind of also get into a groove."

Groove isn't powerful enough a word for what happened Monday in the Indians' 17-7 rout of the Rangers.

With 18 hits and a season-high 17 runs, the Indians devastated the Rangers, taking their third and final game of this four-game series to add to their eighth win in the last nine games with Texas. Meanwhile, the Rangers haven't won a home series in their last seven tries.

By the time Martinez exited after just two innings of work, he'd given up six hits, eight runs -- all earned -- and three walks with just one strikeout. Lonnie Chisenhall -- who eventually went 5-for-5 with a career-high three home runs and nine RBIs to tie the Indians' all-time RBI record -- had hit his first of the three homers and racked up three of the nine RBIs.

Chisenhall became only the fourth player in all of baseball in the past 100 years to have at least three homers, five hits and nine RBIs in a game.

"Nick just couldn't command his fastball tonight," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "When he did throw it over the plate, they hit it. At least he found his breaking ball and changeup. They just came out and swung the bat, no matter what we put out there."

By the beginning of the third inning, the Rangers were trailing 8-1, their lone run at that point coming from Daniel Robertson, who scored on Adrian Beltre's RBI groundout. Martinez's night was already complete.

He's now 1-3, giving up at least four earned runs in his last three starts, and he increased his ERA from 3.22 to 4.63 in just one outing.

"I was just nibbling a lot and trying to be too fine on my fastball and put myself in the hole," Martinez said. "Mentally, you've just go to go out and attack your hitters. You have a night like tonight and you're kind of nibbling and not really pounding the strike zone."

The Rangers scored three runs in the third inning, making the score 9-4 heading into the fourth. Luis Sardinas had scored on a wild pitch during Shin-Soo Choo's at bat. Choo then grounded out, scoring Elvis Andrus, and Alex Rios tripled to bring in Beltre from his own single. Rios' triple was his second in as many games, his eighth on the season which leads the American League.

Michael Choice homered in the fourth for the Rangers' fifth run and Sardinas scored again in the fourth for their sixth. Robinson Chirinos eventually homered in the eighth for the seventh and final run, but with 17 Cleveland runs by the end of the eighth -- eight from the arm of Martinez and nine from reliever Scott Baker -- the seven runs didn't really matter.

The Rangers allowed a season-high five home runs, and lost for the second time this season when putting up at least seven runs.

"The job of a long man, especially tonight, is to at least kind of keep the game where it was and allow the team to go out and score some runs, which we did, but I didn't quite do that tonight," Baker said. "I don't care about numbers. It's just about giving our team the innings that they need and keeping the game where it was."

Baker blamed himself for making too many mistakes in his mind, particularly when it came to his two-strike pitches. The nine runs he allowed were a career-high, and the 11 hits are the most by a Texas reliever since Doug Davis in August 1999.

But Washington gave Baker more credit than Baker gave himself.

"He held us in there. At least he kept us out of that bullpen," Washington said. "We needed him to get us as deep as he could possibly could so we could save those guys in the bullpen, and he certainly did that."

As the Rangers approached their final at-bat, 10 runs down and their spirits even lower, the fans that were left attempted to show their support, despite the doubt that filled the stadium.

"Let's go, Rangers," they all sang in unison.

But at that point, it was too late. The damage had already been done.

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