Extra bases: Lindblom takes care of bullpen

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Josh Lindblom didn't get his first victory as a major league starter Monday night against the Cleveland Indians.

But what he did to help the Rangers beat the Indians 6-3 on a humid Monday in Texas, two days after an 18-inning game in Toronto, was much more important.

Lindblom did everything the Rangers wanted him to do in a spot start situation. He gave them six innings, and when he left it was a 3-3 game.

"He really relaxed and kept us in the game," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He pitched well tonight."

For a moment, it looked like Lindblom was headed for another short outing, like his first career start on May 20, when he went 4⅔ innings and allowed four runs in a 9-2 loss in Oakland.

Lindblom was giving up line drives in the first three innings, and a three-run double by Indians catcher Carlos Santana had the Rangers down 3-1 in the top of the third. Lindblom was at 64 pitches through three innings. It had the makings of a short outing.

Then he started pitching. He retired the last 10 batters he faced, four of them on strikeouts. He still allowed some contact, but got three ground-ball outs.

"I started executing my pitches," Lindblom said.

And he allowed Washington to use his bullpen exactly how he wanted to, getting an inning each out of Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers and Joe Nathan.

It was the perfect situation the manager would have planned before the game, and Lindblom, not guaranteed to have another start five days from now, was aware of it.

"I knew the situation of the bullpen," Lindblom said. "To be able to do that was huge. Being someone who's pitched in the bullpen, I know what it's like to have arm fatigue when the starters aren't going deep into games."

Other Rangers notes for Tuesday morning:

What a relief: The Rangers' bullpen has been through the ringer lately, but they've found a way to settle the waters with no earned runs in 18 innings.

Nathan closes as usual: Rangers closer Joe Nathan picked up his 20th save, the third-most in the American League. Nathan became the 25th pitcher in major league history with eight seasons of 20 or more saves.

Andrus vs. Cleveland: Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus still hasn't gotten hot this season, but he does own Cleveland. Andrus went 2-for-5 on Monday night to extend his hitting streak against the Tribe to 33 games, the fifth longest streak by a major league player against one opponent since 1945. Former Ranger Vladimir Guerrero has the longest streak at 44 straight games while he was playing for the Los Angeles Angels against -- you know this -- the Rangers.