Encarnacion’s inside-park HR highlights Indians’ 6-0 win over Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Edwin Encarnacion hit the second inside-the-park home run of his career and Tyler Naquin and Yonder Alonso cleared the fences for the Cleveland Indians, who beat Los Angeles 6-0 Monday night to spoil the Angels’ home opener and snap their three-game losing streak.
Mike Clevinger (1-0), a former Angels farmhand, scattered four hits and struck out five in 5 1/3 innings in his season debut.
The 35-year-old Encarnacion hit a high fly ball off JC Ramirez that left fielder Justin Upton tracked into the corner with one out in the second inning. The ball hit the yellow line on the padding below the foul pole and caromed several feet away from Upton, coming to a stop on the warning track.
Upton leaned over the short fence for just a moment, apparently thinking the ball had landed foul. By the time Upton chased it down and threw it in, the 230-pound Encarnacion was chugging around third base on his way to scoring standing up.
Encarnacion also hit an inside-the-park homer on Aug. 31, 2007, against St. Louis while with the Cincinnati Reds. He homered twice Sunday in a loss at Seattle.
The most recent inside-the-park homer by the Indians was Naquin’s remarkable game-ending hit on Aug. 19, 2016, against Toronto.
Shohei Ohtani, the Angels’ two-way star from Japan, had the night off after his impressive pitching debut on Sunday, when he threw three-hit ball over six innings in a 7-4 victory at Oakland. Ohtani made his hitting debut as the designated hitter on opening day, collecting his first big league hit on his first swing.
The Indians homered twice off Ramirez in the fourth. Alonso hit a leadoff shot to right, his second, and Naquin belted a two-run drive to right-center with two outs, his first.
Ramirez (0-1) allowed five runs, four earned, in five innings in his season debut.
Cleveland scored an unearned run in the third on catcher Martin Maldonado’s throwing error. Brandon Guyer hit an RBI double in the eighth.
Manager Mike Scioscia said it’s possible that Ohtani will be the DH on Tuesday night. “We’re looking at that, yeah,” he said. “We haven’t made any decisions yet but he’s going to be available.”
The Japanese star “feels good,” after Sunday’s start, Scioscia said.
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin will make his season debut on eight days’ rest after making his final spring start on March 25.
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards (0-0, 7.20 ERA) makes his second start after not factoring in the decision in an opening-day loss at Oakland.