CLEVELAND (AP) — Zach McAllister wasn’t about to let one bad inning ruin five good ones.
Cleveland’s rookie right-hander lasted six innings, overcoming a throwing error and two home runs in the fifth, and Shelley Duncan homered to lead the Indians to a 9-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
McAllister (3-1), who began the season pitching at Triple-A Columbus, allowed three earned runs and eight hits, and he and the Indians recovered after blowing a four-run lead.
“He’s not afraid,” Indians manager Manny Acta said of McAllister. “It was good to see a guy like that shake it off.”
Duncan homered in the fourth off an ineffective Dan Haren (6-8), who after the game acknowledged his lower back has been bothering him most of the season and seems destined for the disabled list.
Jose Lopez had three hits and Michael Brantley two RBIs for the Indians, who remained two games behind first-place Chicago in the AL Central.
Rookie Mike Trout hit a three-run homer and Albert Pujols had a solo shot off McAllister in the fifth for the Angels, who lost for just the fourth time in 13 games.
The Indians are 5-1 in games started by McAllister, who had to recover from a rare throwing error by third baseman Jack Hannahan in the fifth when the Angels scored five runs.
“It happens. It’s part of the game and you have to deal with it,” McAllister said of Hannahan’s miscue, which opened the door for LA’s big inning. “Hanny has made a lot of plays for me in the past and he’s going to continue to make plays. Unfortunately that cost me a couple of runs, but we were able to score and I rebounded pretty well.”
Throwing errors by both teams low-lighted an eight-run fifth inning when the Angels scored five times to take the lead before giving it right back.
Cleveland, which led 4-0 after four, trailed 5-4 before scoring three in the fifth to chase Haren, who allowed six earned runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings and lost for the first time in six career starts at Progressive Field.
Shin-Soo Choo opened the fifth with a double and with one out the Angels intentionally walked Jason Kipnis to face Lopez, who singled in his previous at-bat.
The strategy backfired when Lopez doubled to score Choo and Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia pulled Haren. Hisanori Takahashi came in and got Brantley to hit a grounder to Pujols, who stepped on first but threw wildly to the plate as Kipnis scored from third. The ball skipped away from catcher John Hester, who recovered it and made an accurate underhand toss to Takahashi covering, but the reliever dropped it as Lopez slid home to make it 7-5.
Kipnis was lying face down after sliding into the plate when he realized Lopez was trying to score.
“I heard the crowd,” Kipnis said. “When I saw the catcher sprinting to get the ball, I peeked back and Lopez was almost halfway down the line so I had thought, `I better get out of the way right now.’ He was coming in hot and I like the aggressiveness right there.”
Brantley drove in Cleveland’s eighth run in the seventh on a groundout.
Aided by Hannahan’s throwing error, the Angels overcame a four-run deficit by scoring five runs in the top half.
Trout hit a three-run homer and Pujols added his solo shot, but neither would have happened if not for Hannahan’s costly miscue.
After giving up two singles, McAllister retired Erick Aybar on a liner to third and got Hester to hit a routine grounder to Hannahan, who quickly threw to second to start a double play. However, Hannahan’s throw was way off the bag and went right, scoring a run.
“Ninety-nine times out of 100 he makes that throw,” Kipnis said. “So no one really got on him or really said a word to him because we know that’s one in a million right there.”
Haren was tagged for six earned runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings. The Indians had hit for the cycle against him in the first four innings.
“I’d do anything for this team,” said Haren, who has allowed 26 earned runs in 27 innings. “I’d go out and pitch with a broken arm if I could, but at some point you’re hurting the team rather than helping it. I gotta feel better than I am right now.”
Trout fell behind 0-2, worked the count full by taking a couple close pitches and crushed his 10th homer. One out later, Pujols connected for his 13th homer — all since May 4 — to make it 5-4.
NOTES: The game was delayed 1 hour, 41 minutes by two rain delays. Despite the loss, Los Angeles is 39-22 since April 28, when Trout, who didn’t start Monday because of a jammed pinky, joined the club. … Cleveland’s nine runs were one shy of the season-high at home. … Indians DH Travis Hafner will be activated from the 15-day disabled list before Wednesday’s series finale. He’s been out since undergoing knee surgery on May 31. … Before the game, Indians pitcher Justin Masterson spoke with a youth team from South Philadelphia that’s on a 21-day, 18-city tour across the U.S. in a 1947-era bus to pay tribute to Jackie Robinson and the Negro Leagues.