Angels Hammer Indians With Four Homers; Angels 12, Indians 3

A six-run fifth inning, capped by a pair of home runs, set the stage for a sunny afternoon that felt much more gloomy for the Cleveland Indians as they were pummeled 12-3 by Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels in a makeup game on Monday.

Indians starter Danny Salazar (6-7), making his first start since an eight-hit complete game shutout against Detroit last week, had just one inning today in which a runner was not on base. He dodged a jam in the first inning, when the first two batters reached safely, but he worked a double play and a strikeout to escape harm. Walks in the second and third innings had runners on base, but again, no one scored.

In the fifth inning, things got ugly.

C.J. Cron and Hank Conger led off the inning with back-to-back singles to right. A groundout to third by Collin Cowgill scored Cron with the first run of the game. Kole Calhoun, who entered the game a lifetime .350 hitter at Progressive Field and a .344 hitter against the Indians overall, hit a fly ball to deep right field that just cleared the wall for a two-run shot, his 14th of the season, to make it 3-0.

After a strikeout of Mike Trout for the second out, Albert Pujols singled. Howie Kendrick followed with an infield single and David Freese cleared them both with a three-run homer to the bleachers, making it a 6-0 ball game and ending the afternoon for Salazar.

The big inning ended a streak of 19 consecutive scoreless innings by Indians pitching. It would not be the last runs of the afternoon, but it would be for the Indians starter, who lasted four and two-thirds innings. He allowed six earned runs on eight hits on the afternoon. He struck out four and walked a pair.

“Early on, he was working from behind and pitched out of the stretch every inning, but made pitches,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “Then we got to that inning. The leadoff hitter, Cron, he stayed away and let him serve that ball into right. He hit it hard. When he got to two outs, it was Freese, he never came in. Away, away, away. He got a fastball that he hit down the right field line foul and then threw a breaking ball away that he went out and got. It probably wasn’t a bad pitch, but he just never came in to get him off of that pitch.”

Lonnie Chisenhall chipped into that lead against Los Angeles’ Weaver (16-8) in the bottom half of the fifth after a leadoff double from Jason Kipnis. On the second pitch of his at bat, he lofted a home run to right, making it a 6-2 game. The home run was the 24th allowed this season by Weaver, tying him for the American League lead in four-baggers.

Cleveland missed a chance to even up the score in the bottom of the next inning, but did manage to plate another run. After the first two batters were retired, Carlos Santana reached on a bunt single against the shift. A walk to Kipnis moved Santana to second. Santana would score on Chisenhall’s third RBI of the game on a single to right. With runners on the corners and the tying run at the plate, catcher Yan Gomes sent a long fly ball to center, but Trout made the catch at the warning track to end the threat.

Weaver weaved out of trouble and was finished after that at bat. He pitched six innings, allowing three runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out two.

“He certainly different than he was. With that delivery and that deception, when he was running up there mid-90s, man,” said Francona. “He still knows how to pitch. And he commands. He really commands, he changes speeds, he can throw a bunch of different pitches, he doesn’t give in, he’s smart, he knows your lineup, he knows what he wants to do. He’s just been good for a long time and even with not quite the velocity he had, he’s still good.”

The Angels responded with two more runs of their own in the next half frame. With Zach McAllister working in his third different inning of the game, he walked Trout on seven pitches and gave up a single to left by Pujols. A single to right by Kendrick scored Trout and moved Pujols to third. Freese would ground into a double play, but the runner would score from third to make it 8-3 Angels.

Pujols and Kendrick supplied additional insurance in the ninth against Tribe reliever Bryan Price. After a walk to Calhoun by Nick Hagadone to start the inning, Trout reached on an infield single. Price relieved and issued a three-run homer to Pujols and a solo blast to Kendrick immediately following to increase the Halos lead to 12-3.

It was the sixth time this season that the Angels hit four home runs in a game. It was the 26th of the season for Pujols and the 518th of his MLB career.

Calhoun, Pujols, and Kendrick all had three hits in the game. Pujols and Freese drove in three runs each, while Calhoun and Kendrick each had a pair.

“They scored a bunch yesterday. They came in and did what they’re supposed to do,” said Francona. “When we got the two back, it’s like, okay. But then we gave it right back to them. It makes for a long day.”

With the loss, the Indians’ three game winning streak ends and the club falls to 74-68. They will remain in third place, five and a half games in back of the Royals, who were scheduled for a mid-afternoon contest in Detroit with the Tigers. The Angels improve to 88-55, still the top mark in all of baseball and seven and a half games ahead of the Oakland Athletics in the AL West.

The Minnesota Twins are next up on the Indians schedule. Trevor Bauer (5-7, 4.10 ERA) will make Tuesday night’s start for the Tribe. He earned a no-decision after allowing four earned runs to Detroit his last time out. Trevor May (1-4, 9.38), a rookie right-hander, finally notched his first Major League win for the Twins in his last outing after losing each of his previous four starts.

Game time is scheduled for 7:05 PM from Progressive Field. Catch the call of the game on Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio and on the affiliates of the Cleveland Indians Radio Network.

Photo: AP Photo/Tony Dejak

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