Indians 4, Angels 1(14)
The Cleveland Indians used every pitcher in their bullpen and
every defensive trick in the book to hold off the Los Angeles
Angels while the innings stretched deep into the night.
After an unlikely power source finally ended Cleveland’s
offensive slumber, the Indians’ pitching and defense came through
one last time in a win worth staying up late to see.
Drew Stubbs hit a two-run homer in the 14th inning, and the
Indians outlasted the Angels 4-1 Tuesday night to gain ground in
the AL playoff race.
Carlos Santana hit a tying homer in the seventh for the Indians,
who managed just four hits in the first 12 innings.
But with 13 consecutive scoreless innings thrown by nine
pitchers, Cleveland pulled within 5 1/2 games of AL Central leader
Detroit and 3 1/2 games of wild-card leader Oakland after both
teams lost earlier.
”We were grinding all night,” Stubbs said. ”Ultimately,
pitching and defense wins games. If they don’t score, you don’t
Lonnie Chisenhall got the Indians going with a one-out single in
the 14th off Joe Blanton (2-14), the Angels’ seventh pitcher.
Stubbs, the Indians’ No. 9 hitter, was 0 for 4 with a walk before
connecting for his first homer since July 4.
Michael Bourn then singled and scored from second on Blanton’s
throwing error, adding another cushion for Carlos Carrasco (1-4),
who pitched the final two innings. He set off cheers from a small
group of hearty fans behind Cleveland’s dugout when he got Chris
Nelson on a comebacker with two runners on to end the 5-hour,
”We weren’t giving in,” said Bourn, who made a leaping catch
at the center-field wall in the 12th to rob Hank Conger of a sure
game-ending hit. ”It’s easy to give in at that time when it’s 14
or 15 innings, but we really wanted to win.”
Manager Terry Francona praised his team’s tenacity, even while
reminding his players they had to be back at Angel Stadium in
roughly 12 hours for the series finale.
”That was just a really fun game to be a part of,” Francona
said. ”There wasn’t much offense going on, but both teams came to
play. The guys kept playing. It’s easy to lose focus or get tired
in a situation like that, but they gave us a chance to keep
The Indians’ excitement was matched by the misery of the Angels’
latest indignity in their awful season. Los Angeles, which has lost
eight of 10, stranded 17 runners – 13 after the sixth inning,
including two in the final frame.
J.B. Shuck hit a leadoff homer more than five hours before the
final out, but the Angels couldn’t score again despite 12 hits,
striking out a season-high 18 times and going 1 for 13 with runners
in scoring position. The Angels repeatedly were one hit away from a
sure victory – and every time, the Indians snatched it away.
”The less games we have like this in the future, the better,”
said C.J. Wilson, who pitched into the eighth inning of a superb
start. ”This is a crushing loss, especially the way our relievers
came in for the first couple of extra innings and did well.”
Both teams had ample opportunities to score late, and the
Indians made several remarkable escapes.
Wilson and reliever Dane De La Rosa walked the bases loaded in
the eighth, but De La Rosa struck out Yan Gomes to end it. Josh
Hamilton then got picked off second base in the eighth, preventing
Kole Calhoun’s single from driving him home moments later.
The Angels stranded two more runners in the ninth when Asdrubal
Cabrera made an impressive play on Erick Aybar’s grounder at
shortstop to force extra innings.
Hamilton, Mark Trumbo and Calhoun loaded the bases with nobody
out in the 10th, but relievers Matt Albers, Rich Hill and Bryan
Shaw each got one out, with Shaw striking out Grant Green.
The Angels then got two runners on with two outs in the 12th,
but Bourn leaped to rob Conger, glancing off the center-field wall
as he landed.
The Angels outpitched the Indians’ group until they got to
Blanton, who leads the AL with 29 homers allowed in his miserable
season – even though he lost his spot in Los Angeles’ rotation last
Wilson yielded four hits and struck out five, but rookie Danny
Salazar pitched three-hit ball into the sixth inning in his fourth
major league start for Cleveland, and his bullpen was
”We just didn’t come through with those opportunities that we
had,” Wilson said. ”That’s the most frustrating part of the game,
because we wouldn’t have played so many innings if we scored one
Mike Trout sat out his second straight game for Los Angeles,
resting his tight right hamstring.
Wilson kept the Indians down until Santana led off the seventh
with his 15th homer. Peter Bourjos lost his glove over the wall
while trying to make the catch – so the Angels’ center fielder
scaled the wall, leaped over to get the glove back and climbed back
onto the field.
Los Angeles’ much-maligned bullpen retired 10 straight batters
before Santana drew a two-out walk in the 13th and hustled to third
on Gomes’ single to left, but Cabrera flied out.
NOTES: Trout got hurt during Sunday’s loss to Houston, forcing
him to miss consecutive games for the first time in the past two
seasons. The All-Star outfielder had skipped just one game all
season before this series. … Angels C Chris Iannetta snapped an
0-for-13 skid with a seventh-inning single, but Bourjos went
hitless in six at-bats to drop to 0 for 18 since his return from a
broken right wrist.