CLEVELAND (AP) – Rookie Chris Young allowed two singles in eight shutout innings, helping the Texas Rangers snap an eight-game losing streak with a 3-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-10 Young, the tallest player in Rangers’ history, was too much for the Indians, who had never faced him. They will have to wait until next time to try and figure out Young (10-7).

Cleveland didn’t get a runner to third base off the right-hander, who walked one, struck out seven and retired 15 of the final 17 batters. Francisco Cordero worked the ninth for his 27th save.

Michael Young hit a two-run homer in the first off Cleveland’s Kevin Millwood (6-10) and Phil Nevin connected for a solo shot in the fourth as the Rangers ended a nine-game road losing streak dating to July 30.

Texas improved to 11-22 since the All-Star break, a slide that has all but taken the Rangers out of playoff contention.

The Indians, meanwhile, missed a chance to gain ground on AL wild-card leading Oakland, which lost to Baltimore. Cleveland stayed three games behind the Athletics with its fourth loss in five games and second shutout in three.

And once again, Millwood was on the wrong end of a tough loss. The right-hander’s record doesn’t come close to showing how well he has pitched in his first season for Cleveland. He gave up four hits, but his only two bad pitches cost him dearly.

The Indians have averaged 3.0 runs in Millwood’s 22 starts and have been shut out four times in his last nine outings.

Young allowed one hit – Coco Crisp’s two-out single in the third – through the first six innings and retired 10 straight before Travis Hafner led off the seventh with a single.

However, Young got Victor Martinez to fly to right, struck out Jeff Liefer and retired Ronnie Belliard on a fly to left.

Cleveland’s best threat came in the first when Young put two runners on without giving up a hit. He plunked Jhonny Peralta in the upper leg with two outs and walked Hafner before striking out Martinez.

Millwood, who went 1-4 with five no-decisions in his first 10 starts, found himself in a familiar hole in the first inning. After walking leadoff hitter David Dellucci, he hung a 3-1 pitch to Young, whose 18th homer put the Rangers ahead 2-0.

Nevin hit his second homer since coming to Texas in a July 30 trade from San Diego in the second to make it 3-0.

Notes: The only AL team Young hasn’t faced is Kansas City. … The Rangers have 199 homers. … On Tuesday night, Rangers 2B Alfonso Soriano batted cleanup for the first time in 759 career games. The only other time he appeared on a lineup card in the No. 4 hole was when he pinch ran for the New York Yankees in 1999 against Tampa Bay. Soriano’s hitting streak was stopped at 15. … Interestingly, the Indians’ 64-55 record after 119 games was better than the club’s mark in 2000 (63-56) when their lineup featured All-Stars Kenny Lofton, Roberto Alomar Jr., Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome. … Rangers OF Kevin Mench was a late scratch from the starting lineup with back spasms. He was replaced by Mark DeRosa. … Rangers manager Buck Showalter said there is very little improvement in OF Richard Hildalgo’s sprained left wrist. Hildalgo has been on the DL since Aug. 6.

AP-ES-08-17-05 2133EDT


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