Tribe Bats Rough Up Haren and Halos; Indians 9, Angels 5
By Ryan Hohman
After watching an early lead disappear, the Cleveland Indians battled back to score the game’s last five runs and withstood two rain delays to defeat the Los Angeles Angels 9-5 Friday night at Progressive Field.
The Indians wasted no time getting on the board after shouldering the club’s first home shutout of 2012 at Progressive Field last night, falling 3-0 to Los Angeles.
Cleveland got the leadoff man on base again in the second thanks to a single from Michael Brantely. Casey Kotchman moved Brantley to third with a one-out single of his own. Shelley Duncan followed Kotchman with a sacrifice fly to score Brantley and make it a 2-0 ballgame. Jack Hannahan kept the run parade alive with a double to center to plate Kotchman and extend the Indians lead to 3-0.
Shelley Duncan picked up his second RBI of the game in the fourth with a solo homerun to left field, his 7th of the season.
The Indians would need every run they could get as it was only a matter of time before the Angels’ bats woke up.
After allowing just two hits through the first four innings, Indians starter Zach McAllister gave up back-to-back singles to Alberto Callaspo and Howie Kendrick to start the fifth. Eric Ayabar lined out, then light-hitting John Hester hit into what should have been an inning ending double play to Hannahan at third, but Hannahan threw the ball into right field, allowing Callaspo to score the halo’s first run of the game.
20-year-old rookie phenom Mike Trout, who’ll be playing in next week’s all-star game, took further advantage of Hannahan’s error with a three-run blast just inside the left-field foul pole, his 10th of the year, to tie the game, 4-4. McAllister gathered himself to retire Tori Hunter for the second out of the inning before Albert Pujols came to the plate and smashed a ball up over the plate into the bleachers for his 13th homerun of the year to give the Angels a 5-4 lead.
Entering Friday’s game, the 24-year-old McAllister had allowed just three homeruns across 48.1 career innings in the majors.
The Indians answered right back, scoring three runs in three bottom half of the fifth. Shin-Soo Choo started the rally again with a leadoff double. Haren retired the next batter, Cabrera, and then intentionally walked Kipnis to face Jose Lopez. Mike Scioscia’s decision to put Kipnis on immediately came back to haunt him when Lopez laced a double down the left field line, scoring Choo to tie the game, 5-5, and end Dan Haren’s night.
Hisanori Takahashi relieved Haren to face Michael Brantley, who hit a sharp grounder to Pujols at first base. Pujols fielded and stepped on the bag for the out, then fired home in hopes of gunning down the speedy, head-first diving Kipnis, but the throw was off the mark and got behind Angels catcher John Hester. With Jose Lopez rounding third and his eyes set on home, Hester retrieved the ball and fired a bullet to Takahashi who was covering the plate. Takahashi applied the tag in plenty of time, but Lopez’s knee jarred the ball loose to give the Indians a 7-5 advantage.
Dan Haren was charged with both runs and seven on the evening. Haren gave up nine hits, struck out one, and walked one over four and a third.
McAllister bounced back to pitch a scoreless sixth before giving way to Joe Smith in the seventh inning. In his sixth major league start and appearance of the season, the 24-year-old gave up five runs on eight hits while striking out five and walking none.
39-year-old LaTroy Hawkins relieved Takahashi in the seventh inning. After getting Cabrera to ground out, Hawkins gave up back-to-back singles to Kipnis and Lopez. Kipnis came around to score on a fielder’s choice by Brantley to extend the Indians lead to 8-5.
The Indians would add another run in the eighth on an RBI single from Aaron Cunningham, scoring Kotchman who led off the inning with a double.
The game was lengthened by rain delays in the eighth and ninth innings.
Joe Smith, Vinny Pestano, and Esmil Rogers pitched an inning apiece without giving up a run in relief of McAllister, who improved to 3-1. Dan Haren took the loss for the Angels, falling to 6-8.
Derek Lowe (7-6, 4.42) will take the mound against Ervin Santana (4-8, 5.12) in tomorrow’s game at Progressive Field. Don’t miss the first pitch at 4:05 ET on SportsTime Ohio and the Cleveland Indians radio network.
Photo credit: Jason Miller / Getty Images