Puig, Clevinger lead Indians to 7-3 victory over Angels
CLEVELAND (AP) — Yasiel Puig drove in his first two runs for Cleveland, Mike Clevinger won his fifth consecutive decision and the Indians beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-3 on Friday night.
Puig, acquired from Cincinnati in a blockbuster trade Wednesday, had RBI singles in the first and second, helping Cleveland take an early 6-1 lead.
The 6-foot-2, 240-pound right fielder also showed off his defensive skills. He made a leaping catch on the warning track of Andrelton Simmons’ line drive in the fourth and ran down Kole Calhoun’s fly ball in the corner in the eighth.
Puig is 3 for 7 in two games for the Indians and has instantly become a fan favorite. The crowd of 28,386 gave him a loud ovation before each at-bat and chanted his name on several occasions.
Clevinger (6-2) gave up one run in 6 1/3 innings — a solo homer to Mike Trout in the first. The blast was Trout’s 36th of the season and moved him into a tie for the major league lead with Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich.
The right-hander allowed three hits and struck out eight. Clevinger is 4-0 in six career starts against the Angels, who traded him to the Indians in 2014 when he was pitching in the minors.
Puig, Carlos Santana, José Ramírez and Jason Kipnis drove first-inning runs when Cleveland scored four times. Santana and Puig had RBIs in the second.
Roberto Perez hit his 19th home run of the season in the third.
The first five batters reached against Taylor Cole (1-2), who made his fifth start of the season in 25 appearances. The right-hander allowed four runs and retired one batter before being replaced by Dillon Peters.
Francisco Lindor walked and Oscar Mercado followed with a single in the first. Santana’s single made it 1-0 and Puig’s line single to left scored Mercado.
Ramírez’s double scored Santana and Puig came home on a head-first slide when first baseman Albert Pujols bobbled Kipnis’ grounder and couldn’t make a throw.
Santana had a sacrifice fly in the second before Puig’s single through the right side scored another run.
Indians manager Terry Francona returned Friday, a day after missing a game because of surgery for a tear in his retina.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (sore shoulder) threw about 30 pitches in a bullpen session.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar (strained right groin) returned to the injured list, one day after appearing in his first game in two years after battling arm troubles. Salazar allowed two solo home runs in four innings and topped out at 88 mph … LHP Tyler Olson (shingles) was placed on the 10-day IL.
Angels: Los Angeles hasn’t announced Saturday’s starter. RHP Félix Peña (8-3, 4.66 ERA) will follow that pitcher.
Indians: RHP Adam Plutko (3-2, 4.83 ERA) will make his first career appearance against the Angels.