McAllister, Indians take down the Angels in L.A., 5-2
Four run fourth and outstanding pitching allow Tribe to easily win series opener
By Jim Berdysz
August 20, 2013
LOS ANGELES—No need to wait your turn.
Losing two of three to the Oakland A's over the weekend, the Indians traveled 370 miles down Interstate 5 looking for some help from the Angels to get them back on track. Great starting pitching and timely hitting became the answer for the Tribe as they easily took down of the Halos in La-La Land, 5-2.
It marked the first time since June 29 the team opened with the first game of a series with a victory.
Having already beat the Tribe once this season 10 days ago in Cleveland, Angels starter Jered Weaver (7-7, 3.62 ERA) looked sharp at the outset again Monday night. Yielding just one hit to the first 11 batters he faced, Weaver ran into trouble in the fourth.
Walking Jason Kipnis to lead off the inning, the speedy second baseman stole his 23rd stolen base to get into scoring position for Carlos Santana. The switch-hitting slugger did not disappoint, connecting on a RBI single through the right side to score Kipnis and put the Tribe up, 1-0.
Three batters later, Jason Giambi sent home Santana on a RBI groundout before third baseman Lonnie Chisenhallstole the show belting a two-run homer to the right field seats. It was the Chiz Kid's seventh long ball of the year and his first since July 13. The hit gave the Indians a quick 4-0 cushion as Zach McAllister (6-7, 3.59 ERA) settled in at the center of the diamond.
The Halos answered back just a half inning later off McAllister on a RBI base hit by Mark Trumbo to give Los Angeles their first run of the game.
Orignally slated to start Tuesday night in L.A., the Tribe decided to move up the right-handed starter and switch spots with rookie Danny Salazar. Coming off of Tommy John surgery, the team is doing anything they can to protect the hard throwing Salazar and the amount of innings he throws the rest of the year.
Despite getting bumped up a day, McAllister delivered giving up just one run on five hits over 6 1/3 innings pitched, walking two and striking out five. After taking him 82 days to pickup his sixth victory, it took McAllister less than a week to notch his career-high seventh win this season.
With Z-Mac tossing 6 1/3 innings, Cleveland improves their record to 46-22 when starters go at least six innings or more in a ballgame.
Both teams also added a run in the ninth via the home run, as Nick Swisher belted his 14th long ball off Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen, while Trumbo struck again hitting his 29th homer off Indians closer Chris Perez in the home half of the inning.
Swisher has quietly started to heat up, as the swich-hitting outfielder is now batting .280 (14-for-50) with two doubles, three home runs and eight RBI since August 7. He is also just six homers shy of collecting at least 20 dingers for the ninth consecutive season.
Even with a big road win, Cleveland (67-58) remain 4 1/2 games out of the final American League wild card spot as Baltimore and Tampa also notched victories. The Tribe does move just 6 1/2 games behind the first place Detroit Tigers in the A.L. Central who were idle Monday.
They will look to keep the momentum alive in the second game of the three-game series as Salazar (1-1, 4.08 ERA) faces Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson (13-6, 3.40 ERA) Tuesday night. The Indians are a remarkable 17-0 this year when scoring four runs or more against teams in the A.L. West.
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