Lowe Dazzles, Indians Win First Home Series; Indians 4, Angels 0
By Matthew Van Wormer
Derek Lowe was outstanding for the Indians on Sunday afternoon. His sinker was sinking, his slider was sliding and his fastball was consistent. Lowe gave up three hits and no runs over 7.2 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.27 on the season and leading the Tribe to a 4-0 victory.
When he ran out of a gas, the Bullpen Mafia did their thing. First, Vinnie Pestano finished the eighth inning by striking out Howie Kendrick with the bases loaded. Chris Perez came in for the ninth, in a non-save situation, struck out the homer-less Albert Pujols, got Kendry Morales to fly out to center and then took down Torii Hunter via strikeout to end the game.
Hunter, usually an Indian killer, was the big reason that the Indians won the game. With no scoring taking place early on, the Indians had runners on first and second in the bottom of the fifth with two outs. Asdrubal Cabrera hit a fly ball to right field which should have ended the inning. Instead, the ball was directly in front of the sun and Hunter lost it.
Aaron Cunningham scored from second and Michael Brantley came all the way around from first base to score and make it 2-0. It would stay that way until the bottom of the eighth when the Indians added two insurance runs, one of which was thanks to an Angel’s error.
After Travis Hafner and Carlos Santana started the inning with singles, Jack Hannahan squared to lay down a sacrifice bunt. He got the job done and the throw from Angels reliever, Kevin Jepsen, was missed by Pujols at first base allowing Jason Donald, who pinch ran for Hafner, to score. The Indians would get their fourth run on a sac fly by Shelley Duncan.
The Indians had seven hits off Ervin Santana, the man that no-hit the Tribe last season. Brantley said the key was jumping on Santana’s pitches as soon as they got one they liked.
“We just wanted to attack [Santana’s pitches] early, don’t let him throw his slider,” Brantley said.
The Indians (11-9) now head out of town, to Chicago, where they will try to build off of their early road success and put some room between themselves and their Central Division rival White Sox. Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Tomlin and Justin Masterson are the scheduled starters for the Tribe in that series.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images