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TEX@CLE: Chavez scores on an error by Santana

CLEVELAND -- Rangers outfielder Endy Chavez is showing why he will likely still be in the Majors next week when Julio Borbon is ready to come off the disabled list.

He gave the Rangers a big boost in the outfield when they were getting clobbered by injuries, and he isn't slowing down now that others are getting healthy. He's not going away, either -- not after what he's done since being called up from Triple-A Round Rock on May 14.

Chavez, at his best on Thursday night with four more hits, was instrumental in the Rangers rallying for a 7-4 victory over the Indians at Progressive Field. The Rangers trailed, 3-0, in the second, but Chavez was in the middle of everything as the Rangers stormed back for their eighth victory in their last 11 games.

"He has given us a huge shot in the arm," designated hitter Michael Young said. "When he first got called up, we ran into three or four really good arms, and it was like we put him into a buzzsaw. Since then he has given us a big boost, he plays great defense and gets us going with a lot of energy."

The Rangers were still down by three runs going into the fifth, but Chavez contributed a two-out single off Indians starter Carlos Carrasco that kept a three-run rally going. His sixth-inning triple also came in the middle of a three-run rally.

"When we brought him up, we felt like he was ready to play," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "What he has been showing, that's what he is capable of doing. He plays the game the way it should be played and [he's] doing the things he did before he got hurt."

Reliever Michael Kirkman earned his first Major League victory, allowing one run in three innings. He took over after David Bush, starting because Matt Harrison was scratched with a blister, went four innings and allowed three runs. Kirkman got Texas to the eighth, and then the late-inning cadre of Darren Oliver, Mark Lowe and Neftali Feliz finished the job.

"It's exciting," Kirkman said. "Every kid dreams about winning in the big leagues. Hopefully there is a lot more to come."

There should be. Kirkman is still classified as a rookie, and has a full career ahead of him. Chavez, 33, is a 10-year Major League veteran with his sixth organization whose career was almost cut short by a devastating knee injury. He suffered a torn right ACL in an outfield collision on June 19, 2009 while playing for the Mariners. It took him 23 months to get back to the Majors after he had multiple setbacks rehabbing the knee with the Rangers last season.

"I had my doubts about getting back, but I continued to work hard and keep my attention in the right spot," Chavez said. "I appreciate it that the Rangers waited for me and trusted me. I feel comfortable now that I can play baseball again."

Chavez is 17-for-41 (.415) since being called up to the big leagues in mid-May. The Rangers will have to make a roster move on Monday, and they will likely return Craig Gentry to the Minors.

That is not an indictment on Gentry. But he has has options, while Chavez would have to clear waivers before he could be returned to Round Rock. The way he is playing, there would almost certainly be somebody interested in him. He has earned a more permanent spot on the team.

"He's a solid player," Washington said. "I'm glad he stayed with us and did a good job rehabbing the knee."

The Rangers' only hit off Carrasco going into the fifth inning was an infield single by Chavez. Nelson Cruz got them going in the fifth with a double to deep left-center. He came around to score after Mitch Moreland grounded out to first and Yorvit Torrealba bounced out to second.

Carrasco still had two outs and a 3-1 lead after Cruz scored, but Chavez kept the inning alive with a single. He then stole second and, after Ian Kinsler walked, the Rangers tied the game on consecutive RBI singles by Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton.

"[Carrasco's] changeup and breaking balls were up in the zone," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "Even his fastball was up in the zone. He just wasn't able to finish guys off."

Cruz got the Rangers going again in the sixth with another double, this one coming with one out. Moreland then singled to center, and Cruz was held at third. That left runners at the corners, and Torrealba gave the Rangers a lead with a sacrifice fly down the right-field line. Chavez then ripped a triple to deep right-center that brought home Moreland, but he wasn't done yet.

With Kinsler batting, Carrasco threw a pitch that got away from Indians catcher Carlos Santana. Chavez did not break for the plate, thinking the ball didn't roll far enough away. Santana thought Chavez was coming. He raced straight back, grabbed the ball and threw it quickly to Carrasco covering the plate. But his throw was wild and Chavez scored to make it 6-3.

"I thought the ball was not going to carry too much behind the plate," Chavez said. "Then I saw the bad throw and knew nobody was behind the pitcher. So I took off."

He has done just that, and there is no reason to think he'll land back at Round Rock anytime soon. Comments