The Cleveland Indians continue their three-city, ten-game road trip this weekend as they visit the city of Anaheim for three with the Los Angeles Angels.
The first place Indians (33-26) are coming off of a split in Seattle, winning the bookend games of the four-game series with the Mariners. After putting up 25 runs in their four-game set against the Kansas City Royals last weekend, the Indians managed just nine runs in Seattle while allowing 16, but still came away with a 2-2 record to start their road trip. The rest of the AL Central has continued to struggled, giving Cleveland their largest lead (three games) since May 24, 2012, when they had a three and a half game lead in the division.
The Angels (26-34) have not had the season they had hoped for and already find themselves buried in fourth place, eleven games out of first place in the AL West and in a four-game losing skid after being swept by the Yankees during the week in four straight. They have started the month of June with a 2-6 record and have been two games below the even mark in both April and May. Despite averaging 5.11 runs per game in May, the club finished 13-15 by allowing 5.18 runs per game. They are 7-6 against the Central this season.
Friday, 6/10, 10:05 PM ET – RHP Corey Kluber (5-6, 3.84 ERA) vs. LHP Hector Santiago (3-3, 5.07)
Saturday, 6/11, 10: 05 PM ET – RHP Trevor Bauer (4-2, 3.88) vs. RHP Matt Shoemaker (3-7, 5.40)
Sunday, 6/12, 3:35 PM ET – RHP Danny Salazar (6-3, 2.24) vs. TBD
TV – Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio (all games); FS1 (Saturday); Fox Sports West (Friday and Sunday)
Radio (all games) – Cleveland Indians Radio Network; KLAA 830, KWKW 1330 (Los Angeles)
Los Angeles (AL):
Craig Gentry (OF) – 15-day disabled list (April 26) – right lumbar spine strain
Andrew Heaney (SP) – 60-day disabled list (April 6) – left flexor muscle strain
Greg Mahle (RP) – optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake Bees
Daniel Nava (OF) – 15-day disabled list (May 17) – left groin strain
Cliff Pennington (2B) – 15-day disabled list (June 1) – left hamstring strain
Cory Rasmus (RP) – activated from the 15-day disabled list (June 9)
Garrett Richards (SP) – 60-day disabled list (May 6) – torn ulnar collateral ligament
Andrelton Simmons (SS) – 15-day disabled list (May 9) – recovery from May 2016 left thumb surgery
Joe Smith (RP) – 15-day disabled list (June 5) – left hamstring strain
Geovany Soto (C) – 15-day disabled list (May 18) – recovery from May 2016 right knee surgery
Nick Tropeano (SP) – 15-day disabled list (June 3) – right shoulder tightness
C.J. Wilson (SP) – 60-day disabled list (March 25) – left shoulder tendinitis
AL CENTRAL STANDINGS
The Angels own a 324-302 edge in 626 matchups with the Indians all-time, dating back to the debut of the Los Angeles Angels in 1961. It includes a 171-148 mark at home; the Indians are just 154-153 against them in Cleveland.
The two teams last met in August. The Angels took two of three on their home field from August 3 to 5, but were swept in three straight at Progressive Field from August 28 to 30. Kluber took the loss in the first game of the season series, while Zach McAllister, Bauer, Bryan Shaw, and Josh Tomlin would earn wins. Cody Allen was 0-1 in the six games with a pair of saves.
Yunel Escobar moved across the country in the offseason when he was traded by the Washington Nationals to the Angels. He is the team’s leading hitter with a .311 batting average this season while playing third base for Los Angeles. In 56 games, he has 14 doubles, three homers, and 17 RBI.
Jefry Marte, who came over from the Detroit Tigers in a trade in January, has hit the ball well in limited playing time while bouncing back and forth from Anaheim to Salt Lake this season. The right-handed hitter played sparingly, but put together a 4-for-4 game against his former Tigers club on May 31 when he returned to the Angels lineup and is hitting .375 for the season through his first eleven games. He notched Los Angeles’ first pinch-hit home run of the season in their loss to New York on Thursday.
AND OLD ONES
In case you missed it, Mike Trout is still good. The 24-year-old center fielder is on his way to another trip to the All-Star Game this season, leading the club in runs (42), homers (13), RBI (43), walks (40), on-base percentage (.411), slugging (.552), and OPS (.963) while ranking second in hits (68), doubles (13), and batting average (.308).
Albert Pujols is not what he once was in the early stages of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals, but he is no player to sleep on in the Angels lineup. While he is hitting just .236 with a .318 on-base percentage, he has supplied LA with some pop in their lineup, hitting 12 homers and driving in 41. His 27 walks are second best on the team.
There are a handful of former members of the Indians organization on the Angels roster right now.
Former setup man Joe Smith will miss the series while on the disabled list.
Shane Robinson was in spring camp with the Indians this year before his release at the end of March. His minor league contract was selected by the Angels on May 1. Jhoulys Chacin, who took the loss in the series finale against New York on Thursday, pitched in seven games for Triple-A Columbus last year after signing with the Indians briefly. Reliever Deolis Guerra was claimed by the Indians last August on waivers from Pittsburgh but the club later rescinded its claim. Shortstop Gregorio Petit spent the 2012 season with the Indians at Triple-A Columbus. David Huff, a left-handed pitcher and a former Cleveland first round draft pick in 2006, was added to the Angels rotation and started in their loss on Tuesday.
Even 40-man roster member Tim Lincecum has ties to Cleveland; the former Cy Young Award winning starting pitcher was drafted by the Indians in 2005 in the 42nd round, but did not sign. He was drafted with the tenth overall pick by the San Francisco Giants the next season.
NO MORE TRIPS TO COLUMBUS
Since returning to the active roster from Columbus at the beginning of the month, rookie outfielder Tyler Naquin has continued to remind the Indians club that he wants nothing to do with playing at the Triple-A level any more.
Thursday night was more proof of that, as he hit his fourth homer since returning, a two-run shot in the top of the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie. He is hitting .350 since rejoining the Indians with a .458 OBP. Five of his seven hits this month (one double, four homers) have been for extra bases and he is tied for the team lead in June RBI with seven.
RAJAI RETURNS TO FORM
Rajai Davis is hitting .323 in the month of June and is tied with Francisco Lindor for the team lead in hits for the month with ten. Nine have been singles, and with two walks, he has used his time on the bases well, stealing three bases in three attempts while scoring four runs.
June has not been kind to a pair of Tribe hitters. Juan Uribe has gone 1-for-19 (.053) in the month with a single, a walk, and two RBI. Catcher Chris Gimenez, thrust into extra playing time with the injury to starting catcher Yan Gomes, is just 1-for-17 (.059) in the month with a single, two walks, two runs scored, and one run batted in.
The Indians will wrap up their road trip with a three-game layover in Missouri as the Tribe makes their first trip to Kansas City this season. The Angels will stay home for three more with the Minnesota Twins before hitting the road for six divisional matchups with Oakland and Houston.
Photo: Harry How/Getty Images