CLEVELAND — Mondays and September are not proving to be a good combination for the Indians.
On Labor Day, the Tribe allowed a season-high 20 hits as the Tigers rolled to a 12-1 victory. On Monday, the Angels showed why they were the best team in the majors, hitting four home runs and pounding out 16 hits in a 12-3 win. The game was a makeup for the June 18 rainout.
Since the Indians took two of three from the Angels in June, Los Angeles has gone 50-22, which is the best mark in the majors.
After throwing a complete game in his last start, Danny Salazar allowed a career-high six runs in the fifth inning. When C.J. Cron scored on a Colin Cowgill groundout in the fifth, that broke a string of 21 consecutive shutout innings thrown by Salazar.
It would get worse in the inning for the right-hander, who was chased after a two-run homer by Kole Calhoun and a three-run shot by Howie Kendrick. Coming into the game Salazar had allowed just three earned runs in 25 innings in his past four outings.
"You’re going to have days like this," Salazar said. "Physically, (my) arm and everything is fine. It was just a bad day for me."
"I think I just missed a couple pitches. I was just leaving everything up. I was doing pretty good going away. I just came inside just a few times. I have to come more inside."
Monday marked the first time that a Tribe starter has allowed six or more runs since May 18 and just the third time all season.
"I was rushing sometimes a little bit. I was watching my pitches between innings and seeing what was good and bad," Salazar said.
Lonnie Chisenhall drove in all three Indians runs, with two coming on a home run in the fifth, but this marked the 28th time in 48 games since the All-Star break that the Indians have scored three runs or fewer. They are 12-16 in those games.
Scoring seven runs in a three-game series might get a sweep over the White Sox, but it is not going to work against the Tigers or the Royals, who the Tribe will face a combined six times down the stretch. There’s also the matter of completing the suspended game against Kansas City on Sept. 22.
"That’s the hardest thing, that we haven’t been scoring. If we do, we’re scoring one to two runs and they’ve been pitching so good that we’ve been winning," outfielder Michael Bourn said. "We’re fortunate to be in this position how we’ve been playing offensively. I felt like throughout the year, we would always find a way to score three or four runs and then find a way to add another one on later on. If we could put both of them together where we can hit and pitch at the same time, of course, every team would like to do that, but we’d like to be the ones to do it."
With the loss the Indians (74-68) remain five back of Kansas City in the division and are four behind Seattle for the second Wild Card.