Three Homers Spark Late Inning Rally to Snap Skid; Indians 6, Angels 5
Matt Travis | On 11, Aug 2013
This game seemed to have the script of the last six games all over again. Poor pitching and no hitting seemed to spell out another loss and a sweep in a second series in a row. However the Indians had different plans as they were able to come back from an early five run deficit and finish the home stand in the right way, winning 6-5. While Justin Masterson struggled on the mound and Angels starter Jerome Williams seemed to have the Indians number for most of the game, the Indians were able to recover and pull this victory out.
The game started off with the Angels putting two on the board in the first inning. Justin Masterson was able to get the first batter of the game to ground out but then walked back-to-back batters before Josh Hamilton drove in a run on a single to right field. With men on first and third base, Mark Trumbo grounded into a fielder’s choice that drove in the runner from third base and made it a 2-0 lead.
The Angels were able to extend the lead even more in the second inning, by adding on two more runs. Masterson started the inning with a strikeout of Chris Nelson, before Hank Conger reached on an infield single. Grant Green was up next, hitting a single but was able to reach second base when the ball was thrown to third base attempting to get the lead runner but was unable to do so. J.B. Shuck hit a ball directly at Swisher who threw it home to tag out Green. Kole Calhoun drew a walk to load the bases for Mike Trout, who singled to drive in two runs and make it 4-0 at after two innings.
Asdrubal Cabrera led off the bottom of the second inning for the Indians. Cabrera struck out but was ejected from the game while arguing a called second strike that seemed to be well below the strike zone. Mike Aviles came into the game at shortstop to replace Cabrera for the rest of the game.
Masterson seemed to settle down slightly in the third inning, allowing just one hit, a two-out single to Nelson, which he promptly recovered from by getting a fly ball to right field.
In the bottom of the third inning, Lonnie Chisenhall was able to get the first hit of the game for the Indians, a single which was followed by a fielder’s choice from Drew Stubbs and a pop fly from Michael Bourn.
The fourth inning started off with Green hitting a ball at Aviles that took an odd bounce and forced Aviles to throw high ball to first, sending the ball into the dugout and putting Green at second base. After Shuck grounded out and moved Green to third base, Calhoun singled to drive him home and give the Angels a 5-0 lead.
Going into the bottom of the sixth inning, things did not look good for the Indians, as they were down five runs and only had one hit but things turned around quickly for the Tribe. Williams was able to set down Chisenhall and Stubbs on strikes to start the inning but then gave up a single to Bourn. Nick Swisher was able to take a fastball to the opposite field, over the wall and into the bleachers for a two run home run, rounding third base and giving an O-H as he crossed home plate. Jason Kipnis drew a walk in the next at bat, setting the stage for Aviles. Aviles, who didn’t even start the game but just came in as Cabrera’s replacement, took a ball to deep left field for another two-run home run to make it a 5-4 ballgame after the sixth inning.
The seventh inning started with Matt Albers setting down the Angels 1-2-3, the first time an Indians pitcher was able to do so in the game.
Carlos Santana was first up for the Indians in the bottom half of the seventh inning and tied the game up with one swing of the bat. He drove a ball to deep right field for a home run making this a 5-5 game. After a Jason Giambi pop fly, Chisenhall drew a full count walk followed by a Stubbs single right back up the middle of the diamond. With men on first and second base, Bourn drove a ball down the left field line, singling home Chisenhall and giving the Tribe a 6-5 lead and their first lead of the series.
Joe Smith came in to be the set up man and pitch the eighth inning for the Indians. Smith was able to get Shuck to line out to Bourn to start the inning, followed by a strike out to Calhoun. While he did give up a single to Trout, Smith was able to get the ever-dangerous Hamilton to strike out to end the inning.
Chris Perez came in for the ninth inning and was able to set down the Angels 1-2-3. Perez was able to get the three outs by way of a strike out, a beautiful throw to first base from Chisenhall on a bunt and a pop fly to center field caught by Bourn.
The win for today goes to Matt Albers (3-1, 3.33 ERA), the loss going to J.C. Gutierrez (0-3, 4.06 ERA) and the save going to Chris Perez (S 18, 3.35).
The Indians will head to Minnesota tomorrow where they will open up a three game series with the Twins. The Tribe will have Danny Salazar (1-0, 3.29 ERA) take on Andrew Albers (1-0, 0.00 ERA) at 8:10 ET at Target Field.
Photo: Mark Duncan/AP Photo