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

lose.”

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,

17-minute game.

”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

playing.”

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

month.

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

impenetrable.

”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

more run.”

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.