Indians come out with memorable 4-1 win over Angels in extras
Stubbs two-run blast in the 14th inning sends Tribe to second straight victory
By Jim Berdysz
August 21, 2013
LOS ANGELES—It may have taken five hours and 17 minutes to complete, but in the eyes of Carlos Carrasco, it seemed more like 783 days.
Having not won a game since June 29, 2011, Carrasco and the Indians came out on top in a 14 inning battle at Angel Stadium early Wednesday morning. When the dust settled and the clock struck 3:30 a.m. on the East Coast, the Tribe took down L.A. for the second straight night, 4-1.
With the game knotted at one apiece in the 14th, Drew Stubbs connected on a go-ahead two-run homer off Angels reliever Joe Blanton (2-14, 6.12 ERA) to give Cleveland another memorable win and Carrasco his first victory in over two years. The hard throwing right-hander tossed two scoreless innings out of the Tribe bullpen, as he now has recorded seven shutout innings as a reliever on the year all coming against Los Angeles.
Thirteen innings prior to the Stubbs blast, both offenses were stuck in neutral thanks in large part to great starting pitching.
L.A. jumped out to the early 1-0 lead off Indians starter Danny Salazar (1-1, 3.52 ERA) when Angles left fielder J.B. Shuck to the rookie deep on the second pitch of the night. It marked the second consecutive start the 23 year old right-hander served up a homer to the opposing leadoff hitter on the second pitch of the ballgame, as Salazar made the same mistake in his last start in Minnesota.
Scoring one run on the second pitch in the first inning, the Halos wouldn’t score the rest of the way over the final 215 pitches of the game, as the Angels went just 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position leaving 13 runners stranded.
Things weren’t any better on the Indians side prior to the 14th inning, where the team also scored just one run on only five hits.
Salazar settled in after the Shuck homer, retiring 16 of the next 20 hitters he faced. He gave up just the one run on three hits over 5 1/3 innings of work, walking two and striking out seven. With the team still monitoring his innings, manager Terry Francona pulled his starter after just 75 pitches in the sixth, but the rookie looked great again in just his fourth big league start.
His counterpart on the Angels side looked great too, as southpaw C.J. Wilson (13-6, 3.30 ERA) limited the Indians to just two hits through six scoreless innings. The only mistake the lefty made came on the second pitch he threw toCarlos Santana to lead off the seventh inning.
Santana took the two-seam fastball from Wilson just over the center field wall for his 15th home run of the season, which tied the ballgame up at one. The blast also tied Santana with teammates Jason Kipnis and Ryan Raburn for the team lead in long balls on the season.
Then, runs became as scarce as the night itself, as both teams went through eight scoreless frames with the game reaching extra innings early Wednesday morning.
The Angles came close to winning the ballgame a few times over the eight innings, but weren’t able to cash in when they needed it. Their biggest chance came in the bottom half of the tenth, as L.A. loaded up the bases with nobody out.
It would take Francona three different relievers to record three outs, but the team escaped without a glitch. Matt Albers struck out third baseman Chris Nelson for the first out, Rich Hill got catcher Hank Cogner to line out to Mike Aviles for the second before Bryan Shaw struck out second baseman Grant Green to end the inning.
Indians relievers recorded 8 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball to give the team their second win over the Halos in the three-game series.
After Stubbs put the team up two runs in the 14th, Kipnis gave the Tribe another run on a throwing error by Blanton for the team's fourth run of the night.
The late victory also moves Cleveland (68-58) 3 1/2 games in back of Oakland for the final American League wild card spot, and 5 1/2 in back of the Detroit Tigers for first place in the A.L. Central. Four runs came up big again, as the win also keeps the Tribe an undefeated 18-0 against A.L. West teams when scoring four runs or more in a ballgame.
Indians ace Justin Masterson (13-9, 3.59 ERA) will get the nod in the rubber match of the three-game series Wednesday against Angels right-hander Jerome Williams (5-9, 4.90 ERA) as the team goes for the series sweep.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at email@example.com.