Youth persevered over experience on Tuesday evening at Progressive Field.
Josh Tomlin and Matt Shoemaker locked up in what originally appeared as a see-saw battle, but one bad inning from the Tribe was enough to tilt the totter in the direction of the Los Angeles Angels, who won 9-3. Cleveland made a costly error in the fourth inning and Mike Trout hit two home runs to give the Angels all the offense starter Matt Shoemaker needed for the victory. The Angels used four home runs to snap the Tribe’s three-game winning streak and 10-game home, winning streak.
Los Angeles took an early lead in the first three hitters of the game. Kole Calhoun started the game with a single to right field and Trout doubled to deep center field to put a pair in scoring position with no one out. Tomlin minimized the damage when he got Albert Pujols to ground out to third base. The grounder allowed Calhoun to score, but Tomlin got Josh Hamilton to strike out and Erick Aybar to fly out to center field. The Angels led 1-0, but Tomlin dodged what could have been a big inning.
Cleveland answered back in the second and later took the lead, however. In the second inning Carlos Santana started the inning with a walk off Angels’ starter Shoemaker. Lonnie Chisenhall singled to right center field, putting runners at first and third base with no one out. David Murphy grounded out to second base and both runners advanced a base as the Tribe tied the game. They could have taken the lead but Nick Swisher and Yan Gomes each struck out swinging.
The Indians would take the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Chisenhall hit his eighth home run of the season. His solo shot gave the Indians a 2-1 lead when it landed deep into the right center field bleachers.
But the Angels took the lead for good in the top of the fifth inning. David Freese singled to start the inning. Raul Ibanez grounded to the right side of the infield, but Asdrubal Cabrera—shifted to the right side—tried to field and tag the runner headed to second base. Instead, he dropped the grounder and was charged with his 13th error of the season. Everyone was safe and after Hank Conger flew out, Calhoun singled to right field to score a run and tie the game.
The crushing blow came a hitter later when Trout crushed a home run to right field. The three-run blast, his 15th homer of the season, gave Los Angeles a 5-2 lead after five frames. Howie Kendrick hit his fourth homer in the sixth inning to give the Angels a 6-2 lead and chase Tomlin from the game.
Tomlin (4-4) pitched five and one-third innings, allowing six runs—five earned—on 11 hits, while striking out four. Kyle Crockett finished the sixth inning for the Tribe, now allowing any further damage.
Mark Lowe, recently recalled from Triple-A Columbus, came on to pitch the top of the seventh and Trout welcomed him back to the big leagues. He lofted his second home run of the game, this one to the center field bleachers, giving the Angels a 7-2 lead. His 16th homer of the season left little doubt in the contest’s winner.
Meanwhile, after some early struggles, Shoemaker settled in and gave the Angels his best effort of the season. In just his seventh start of the season, Shoemaker went eight innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out 10. Only Chisenhall had success against Shoemaker, logging two of the four Tribe hits against the rookie. Shoemaker (4-1) retired 10 in a row before Michael Bourn had a two-out base hit in the seventh, as he stifled the Tribe on 94 pitches for the evening.
Josh Outman finished the eighth inning for Cleveland and pitched the ninth. Calhoun started the scoring with a solo home run to right field. His fifth homer of the season was the Angels’ fourth dinger of the game and made it 8-2. Los Angeles tacked on another run to make it 9-2 when Outman walked a pair and Albert Pujols rumbled home on Kendrick’s single to center field.
Ernesto Frieri came on to pitch the ninth inning for Los Angeles after a brief rain delay. Cleveland tallied a final run in the game when Jason Kipnis started the inning with double into the right center field gap and scored from second base on Santana’s infield single. Frieri settled down to complete the inning and secure the victory for Los Angeles. Cleveland had just seven hits in the game, while the Angels logged 15 knocks.
The loss drops Cleveland to 36-36 on the season, now three games back of first place Kansas City. The Royals beat the Tigers this evening to take control of the American League Central Division. Los Angeles extended their record to 38-32, still 4.5 games back of Oakland—who has the best record in the American League.
With the series tied at a game apiece, the Tribe will again try to take the upper hand on Wednesday when Justin Masterson (4-5, 5.05) takes the mound. The Indians’ rotation leader will be opposed by left-hander, C.J. Wilson (7-6, 3.50) from Los Angeles.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images