The Indians saw their 10-game unbeaten (9 wins, 1 tie) streak come to and end Monday, as the Angels roughed up a couple of important pitchers in an 8-3 Tribe loss.
Danny Salazar made his Cactus League debut, having been held back a but thus far in an attempt to make sure his innings count doesn't get too high this season. He walked the first hitter he faced, but retired the next three to get out of the inning. His first pitch of the 2nd inning was struck hard for a single to left field. He retired the next two hitters, including a strikeout on a nasty breaking pitch, but the next man up stroked a double to deep left-center field, and Salazar then issued a walk to load the bases, and having thrown 42 pitches already, was pulled before the inning was over.
Trevor Bauer started the 3rd by allowing a ground-rule double to Raul Ibanez. After getting a weak grounder back to the mound for the first out, Bauer walked Chris Iannetta. Then he gave up a line drive off the right field wall. It got there in such a hurry, it was only a single, but Ibanez scored and Iannetta moved to third. Bauer then dropped an 0-2 breaking ball into the zone, freezing the batter at the plate for a strikeout. The next batter put down a beautiful bunt. Even if Brooks Robinson and Ozzie Smith had been at third base and shortstop, no one but the pitcher was going to have a play on the ball, and Bauer couldn't nab it, as another runner scored. Bauer went 3-0 on the next hitter, but got a lazy fly ball to center field to escape further damage.
Bauer walked the leadoff man in the 4th. The next man hit a grounder that pretty easily could have been an out, but instead snuck through for a single. A stolen base with a throwing error by catcher Matt Treanor allowed the lead runner to score, and the other to wind up on third base, and a sacrifice fly then scored him, while also serving as the first out of the inning. Bauer retired the next two to get out of the inning.
Bauer allowed a single to start the 5th, then gave up a massive home run to deep left-center. The next batter smashed a line drive to right-center that wound up a triple, and that was it for Trevor. He threw 53 pitches to get 6 outs, and gave up a number of hard hit balls, in addition to issuing a pair of walks.
It was not an encouraging outing, and it seems pretty clear he's got some stuff left to work on. His velocity has improved compared to what he had last year, but command is still a problem, and he's going to have to prove himself in Columbus before getting a crack at the big-league rotation this season. I suspect he's no higher than 7th on the list of starting pitchers right now.
Vinnie Pestano looked good in a 1-2-3 6th inning, so there's that. Jason Kipnis had 3 hits and Michael Bourn reached twice and scored a pair of runs. Those are your things to be happy about in an otherwise frustrating game.
(Find the full box score here)
The Indians will look to rebound tomorrow afternoon when they travel to Scottsdale to face the Diamondbacks.