Four-Run Eighth Powers Halos Past Tribe; Angels 7, Indians 4
Bob Toth | On 03, Aug 2018
No Mike Trout, no problem for the Angels on Friday night as Los Angeles used a four-run eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie in a 7-4 win over the Cleveland Indians.
Progressive Field was packed with a sold out crowd, but the hometown Tribe could not capture a W as an unlucky eighth inning tipped the scales on a previously close contest.
Neil Ramirez started the inning as the third Tribe pitcher of the night and retired the only batter that he would face, Justin Upton, on a strikeout swinging. Oliver Perez came on for the lefty-lefty matchup with Shohei Ohtani, who recorded his third hit of the game with a single to left-center. Adam Cimber became the third different pitcher of the frame for manager Terry Francona, but he would retire just one of the next seven batters. With Albert Pujols at the plate, Ohtani stole second. Pujols was intentionally walked and David Fletcher blooped in a ground rule double down the right field line to break the tied game. Luis Valbuena pinch-hit and was put on to load the bases and set up forces at any base. Jose Briceno grounded a slow roller towards third, but Jose Ramirez’s throw to first was not in time as the Angels scored their fifth run of the night. With the bases still loaded, Eric Young Jr. blasted a shot off of the wall in center for a two-run double, giving the Angels a 7-3 lead. Kole Calhoun was intentionally walked before Francona called on Dan Otero, who got the tenth batter of the inning, Upton, to pop up to Jason Kipnis at second to stop the bleeding.
Cam Bedrosian retired the Tribe’s side in order in the eighth. Otero faced the minimum in the ninth, giving up a leadoff single to Ohtani for his fourth hit of the game before a double play grounder by Andrelton Simmons to end the inning.
Down to their last three outs, the Indians attempted a two-out rally against Blake Parker. Kipnis flied out and Roberto Perez struck out swinging. Leonys Martin, making his home debut for the Indians, drilled a shot to the Corner for a solo home run, his tenth of the year, to make it a 7-4 game. Francisco Lindor singled to left and moved to second on fielder’s indifference, but Michael Brantley grounded to second to end the game.
The Angels (55-56) moved within a game of the .500 mark and ended their four-game losing skid and a ten-game losing skid in Cleveland. The Indians (59-49) lost a game in the division as Minnesota was victorious over last place Kansas City.
The first three innings provided plenty of offense. Calhoun started the game with a leadoff single to left off of Indians starter Mike Clevinger. After a strikeout by Upton, Ohtani drove a two-run homer to the bleachers to put the Angels up, 2-0. It was the first road homer of his MLB career.
Jaime Barria got the start for the Angels, but quickly gave up the early lead. Lindor drew a walk and scored all the way from first as Brantley doubled over the head of Young in straightaway center. Ramirez tied the game with a single to right.
Clevinger had a quiet second, working around a two-out hit by pitch of Young.
In the home half of the second, the Indians moved out in front for the only time on the night. With one out, Yan Gomes doubled to the wall in left-center. Martin, in his first home at bat with the Indians, singled to right to plate Gomes, giving Cleveland a 3-2 lead.
The lead would last just two batters into the top of the third. Upton struck out swinging against Clevinger, but the rookie Ohtani won a six-pitch battle against the Tribe right-hander, clobbering a solo home run 443 feet to right-center to tie the game at three.
Both teams would get base runners throughout the middle innings, but the score remained tied until the top of the eighth. Edwin Encarnacion walked with one out in the third, but was stranded at first. Perez reached with one out in the fourth while pinch-hitting and was followed on the bases on a fielder’s choice by Martin, but both were left on outs by Lindor and Brantley. Encarnacion reached again in the fifth with a one-out single off of Barria in his last inning of work and Martin walked in the sixth off of Jose Alvarez before being caught stealing to end the inning.
Clevinger retired the side in order in the fourth and worked around a leadoff single by Young in the fifth. Clevinger concluded his night by retiring all three batters he faced in the bottom of the sixth to end his outing with six straight retired. Andrew Miller made his return from the disabled list in the seventh, walking one but retiring the other three batters that he faced.
The Tribe left-hander Perez was hit with the loss, as the lone runner that he faced proved to be the go-ahead run in the Tribe’s defeat. Clevinger worked a quality six innings, allowing three runs on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
Barria did not factor in the decision for the Angels after leaving following five innings pitched. He allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Justin Anderson, who pitched a scoreless seventh, earned his third win of the year.
Ohtani was the big performer for the Angels on Friday, going 4-for-5 at the plate with two singles, two homers, and three RBI while scoring three runs. He was responsible for all of the early scoring for the Halos. Young, who started in center for Trout and hit ninth, went 2-for-3 and drove in a pair.
“He’s got tremendous power,” said Clevinger of Ohtani. “The first one was inside and he still put it out the other way. That’s pretty impressive on his part. The second one, he obviously got all of it.”
Trout was kept from the lineup on Friday while nursing a right wrist contusion and inflammation that was suffered on Wednesday in Tampa. He is expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday.
Prior to the game, the Indians activated Miller from the 60-day disabled list and designated long-time Tribe reliever Zach McAllister for assignment. Miller last pitched for Cleveland on May 26. The team also announced that injured outfielder Tyler Naquin will miss anywhere from six to ten weeks after surgery on his hip.
The Indians are also awaiting word on Gomes, who exited the game for pinch-hitter Perez in the fourth inning while dealing with right knee soreness.
Game two of the three-game set will pit right-handers Corey Kluber (13-6, 2.79) and Felix Pena (1-2, 5.23) against one another. Kluber worked in seven and one-third innings on the mound against the Detroit Tigers his last time out, allowing a run on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Pena is in his first season with the Angels after working in relief with the Chicago Cubs over the last two seasons. He was roughed up for seven runs on six hits and a pair of hits in just one-third of an inning in his last start against Seattle.
First pitch from Progressive Field is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET. The game will be broadcast nationwide on FS1.
Photo: Ron Schwane/Getty Images