Indians' rally comes up short in loss to Angels

Indians' rally comes up short in loss to Angels

Published Aug. 15, 2012 1:16 a.m. ET

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- As much as manager Manny Acta hopes Roberto Hernandez's return to the mound will give the Cleveland Indians' struggling rotation a boost, he knows it won't happen right away.

Hernandez will make his first start of the season Wednesday when the Indians try to bounce back from a 9-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

"I expect him to go out there and not try to do too much," Acta told reporters before the game Tuesday night. "I'm sure he's going to have some kind of butterflies, even if he's been out there a ton of times, but he's never been out there at this time of the year for his first outing. We'll turn him loose. He'll be out there as long as the Angels allow him to be."

Formerly known as Fausto Carmona, Hernandez was arrested in the Dominican Republic in January outside the U.S. consulate, where he had gone to renew his visa. It was discovered that Hernandez is 31 years old, three years older than his listed age.

After serving a three week suspension for age and identity fraud, Hernandez has been added to the Indians' 25-man roster and will start Wednesday night's series finale.

Hernandez follows Ubaldo Jimenez, who tied a career worst by giving up eight earned runs over four innings.

Jimenez (9-12) gave up eight hits, struck out four and walked two. He is 2-7 with a 5.62 ERA over his last 10 starts.

Acta was upset with home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi for issuing a warning to both dugouts, after Zack Greinke hit Indians cleanup hitter Carlos Santana with a pitch on the backside in the fourth inning.

Howie Kendrick was hit by Jimenez seven batters into a four-run first by the Angels, and Greinke evened things out before earning his first victory with his new club.

"There's so much inconsistency with that rule, it's sickening," Acta said. "I mean, I think the whole ballpark knew that Kendrick wasn't hit on purpose -- but I think the whole ballpark knew that he hit Santana on purpose. So if the umpires assume that he hit him on purpose, then what's the ruling?

"Now we're going to give a warning so that we can't retaliate? It's not fair," Acta said. "I understand that they're just trying to cover themselves, but that's not right. The rule says if you're sure that a guy hit a batter on purpose, you can throw him out. But you've got to give the other guy a shot to do something about it."

Greinke (1-1) had a 4-0 lead when he hit Santana. Prior to that, the 2009 AL Cy Young winner had hit only one of 1,010 batters over his previous 39 starts and 247 innings -- Pittsburgh's Matt Diaz last Aug. 22.

"I've hit one guy this year now and have been warned twice," Greinke said. "I was just trying to establish other pitches and just pulled that one a little bit. People seem to think that any time I throw inside, I'm hitting guys on purpose. I don't understand it."

Michael Brantley deposited Greinke's next pitch deep into the elevated seats in right field for his fifth homer, cutting Cleveland's deficit to 4-2. But the Angels responded in the bottom half with a leadoff homer by Erick Aybar and a three-run shot by Albert Pujols.

Pujols added a run-scoring double in the sixth, increasing his RBI total to 82. The three-time NL MVP had no homers and just five RBIs in his first 27 games with the Angels.

Facing an offense that hadn't produced a first-inning run in its previous eight games, Jimenez threw 26 of his 72 pitches during the opening frame. It took the Angels just 12 pitches to get five baserunners and three runs before the right-hander could record his first out.

"Ubaldo didn't have very good stuff, especially in that first inning, and didn't pitch ahead in the count enough," Acta said. "He left too many fat pitches out over the plate and they hit him around. He didn't have very good command of his fastball, didn't pitch inside enough with it, and they took advantage of it."

Mike Trout, who has scored a major league-leading 91 runs in 94 games, doubled and came home on Torii Hunter's single. Kendrys Morales, Mark Trumbo and Chris Iannetta also had RBI singles for the Angels, who were just 3 for 28 with runners in scoring position during their previous four games.

"We know he has a splitty with pretty good movement, so we just tried to make him get the ball up and not miss those pitches," Hunter said. "He did and we were able to capitalize on the pitches he left up.

Greinke allowed four runs and eight hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked one. The right-hander, who was acquired from Milwaukee on July 27 for three prospects, gave up 12 runs in 19 innings over his first three starts for the Angels. He was 9-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 21 starts this season for the Brewers.

LaTroy Hawkins inherited a 9-4 lead from Greinke and gave up a two-run homer by former Angel Casey Kotchman in the eighth after a two-out single by Brantley. Kevin Jepsen got the third out and Ernesto Frieri pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save in 15 attempts.

NOTES: The Indians placed RHP Josh Tomlin in the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 13, because of inflammation in his elbow. It's his third career stint on the DL and second this season, after being sidelined from May 12-27 with a sore wrist. ... Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher served the one-game suspension he received Tuesday from MLB following his nose-to-nose confrontation with umpire Mike Estabrook. He also was fined an undisclosed amount.