Game #20 – Los Angeles Angels (7-14) vs. Cleveland Indians (10-9)
By Matthew Van Wormer
For the second series in a row, the Indians lost game two after winning the series opener. They will look to win the rubber match, and their first home series on the year and hold on to at least a share of first place in the Central Division. The Tribe offense was shut down on Saturday and the bats will have to wake up to get the victory in the series finale.
The 2-1 loss was the first one-run loss for the Indians in 2012 and it also ended the Angels five game losing streak. If the Angles can win on Sunday, it will be their first back to back wins of the season.
The Angels will send Ervin Santana (0-4, 7.23 ERA) to the hill. Santana has been a completely different pitcher than the one that no-hit the Indians last season on their home turf. Santana has given up 20 runs (19 earned) in just 23.2 innings on the season. He has walked eight hitters and struck out 16. None of the Indians hitters have had much success against Santana but with the way he has been pitching this year, the patient approach of the Indians should improve their chances.
Derek Lowe (3-1, 3.00 ERA) will look to pick up his fourth win in April which is much more than the Indians could have asked for when they signed Lowe in the offseason. Lowe gave up just one run in six innings during his last outing against the Royals while scattering eight hits, striking out five and walking just one.
The big story of Sunday will be the two offenses and seeing which one wakes up first. Albert Pujols is still looking for his first home run in an Angels’ uniform and the Indians have managed just eleven runs in the first five games of the home stand. The Indians also extended their homer-less streak to ten games after homering in their first nine games of the season.
“It all evens out,” Indians manager Manny Acta said Saturday in regards to the team’s homerless streak. “We hit a home run in nine games and we haven’t for ten. In a baseball season, it all becomes cyclical.”
Show time is 1:05 at Progressive Field. Get down to the ballpark to see the first place Cleveland Indians. The attendance has been way too low for this team. The sun should be out today and fans should be at the game watching baseball. Catch the game on SportsTime Ohio or the Cleveland Indians Radio Network.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images