Indians 3, Angels 1
Terry Francona has been an extremely good fit for the Indians.
His players seem to feel the same way, considering the way they’ve
been contending for a postseason berth.
Justin Masterson pitched effectively into the seventh inning,
Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer and Cleveland completed a
three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with a 3-1 victory
”We’ve got guys in here that want to be in the playoffs, and
we’re working our butts off to try and get there,” Swisher
The Indians, who began the day 5 1/2 games behind first-place
Detroit in the AL Central and 3 1/2 behind Oakland in the race for
the second wild card spot, improved to 69-58 and surpassed last
season’s win total with 35 games to spare.
”I’m enjoying myself,” said Francona, who guided the Boston
Red Sox to a pair of World Series titles. ”I thought this was the
right place – I knew it was – and it’s been everything I hoped it
would be. I love the people I work with. I’m enjoying this team and
trying to see if we can get better together. It’s been fun.”
Masterson (14-9) allowed a run and five hits over 6 2-3 innings,
tied a season high with five walks and struck out seven just 10
days after giving up five runs over 4 1-3 innings against the
Angels at Cleveland in his shortest outing of the season. The
right-hander, who made his big league debut against the Angels in
April 2008, is 4-0 with a 1.87 ERA in nine career starts against
”It wasn’t easy. I mean, you look up in the fourth inning and I
think Justin had more balls than strikes,” Francona said. ”But he
had good movement and he kind of bobbed and weaved through their
lineup. He only had probably one inning where he really
The Angels put the potential tying and go-ahead runs in scoring
position in the seventh before Masterson fanned Erick Aybar with
his 110th and final pitch for the second out. Rich Hill came on and
retired Josh Hamilton with a tremendous assist from third baseman
Lonnie Chisenhall, who robbed the Angels’ slugger of a hit with a
diving stop in the hole and threw him out.
”I feel a little disappointed that I only went 6 2-3 innings,
because the goal is to get as deep as I can,” Masterson said. ”I
had some good movement early in the game, got a lot of ground balls
and got some great defensive plays behind me.”
The Indians got an insurance run in the ninth when Mike Aviles
scored on Dane De La Rosa’s second wild pitch of the inning.
Cody Allen pitched a scoreless eighth for Cleveland and Chris
Perez got three outs for his 20th save in 24 attempts. The Indians’
bullpen had a 1.29 ERA and stranded 24 of 25 inherited baserunners
during the team’s 6-3 road trip.
Jerome Williams (5-10) yielded two runs and six hits in 6 1-3
innings with six strikeouts and two walks. The right-hander is 0-8
with a 6.79 ERA over his last 12 starts and his only victory at
home this season came in a 12-0 rout of Seattle on May 21.
”Everybody was tired today, and it would have been an easy day
to just show up,” said Francona, who used nine pitchers in Tuesday
night’s 14-inning win. ”We need to get wins like this.”
The Angels scored in the sixth when Hamilton led off with a
single and came all the way around on Hank Conger’s one-out double
into the right field corner. Los Angeles put runners at the corners
in the second and fourth innings, but Masterson escaped the first
jam with a strikeout of Peter Bourjos and the second on a flyball
by Andrew Romine.
”His ball was moving pretty well and was obviously sinking,”
Bourjos said. ”We had some opportunities to blow the game open
early, but we didn’t take advantage of it.”
NOTES: Romine started at 2B for Angels for the first time this
season in place of Howie Kendrick, who has missed 15 games because
of a hyperextended left knee. … Indians DH Jason Giambi doubled
in the second inning, putting him within two hits of 2,000. …
Masterson, who became a full-time starter in 2010, reached the
1,000-inning mark for his career when he fielded Bourjos’ leadoff
bunt in the fifth and threw him out. Bourjos had a bunt single in
the seventh, ending an 0-for-21 drought. … … The Indians are
42-39 since May 23, the last time they led their division. …
Cleveland LF Michael Brantley, who broke Rocky Colavito’s franchise
record of 212 consecutive errorless games by an outfielder in
Monday’s series opener, has committed only six errors since
beginning his big league career in 2009. … Swisher has two hits
in nine career at-bats against Williams, both of them homers.