The Cleveland Indians defeated the Angels yet again Saturday night, setting up an opportunity for a sweep on Sunday afternoon. Despite being no-hit through four, the Tribe scored seven in the final five innings. The tying run came to the plate for the Angels in the top of the eighth but the threat proved to be empty. Adam Plutko earned the win and Trevor Cahill earned the loss because, once again, the Angels were forced to make an early pitching change.
Félix Peña rolled his ankle running to cover first on a grounder by Jose Ramírez. This is what I assumed the problem was at first, but something jammed when he landed while approaching the base. The Angels seem unable to catch any kind of break when it comes to injuries, as Pena had to leave the field with help from trainers.
This brought Trevor Cahill into the game. He started out literally unhittable, allowing a baserunner only once via walk through his first couple of innings.
Franmil Reyes broke up the no-hitter and Jason Kipnis broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth inning. Reyes doubled off of Cahill and then Kipnis golfed a sinker over the wall in right field. Cahill stayed in to pitch to Plawecki, but he plunked him. The Angels changed pitchers but that only threw the floodgates open. Tyler Naquin singled, and then Lindor hit a homer of his own to add the third, fourth, and fifth runs of the inning.
The Angels picked up a run in the sixth thanks to a sacrifice fly by Justin Upton, and then created the beginnings of a rally in the eighth. Three-straight soft hits led to the Angels adding another run and pulling within three. Trout reached on a broken bat single; Shohei Ohtani poked a ball toward third that a shifted Ramirez gloved but fired wide to first; Justin Upton lobbed a single to center that brought Trout home.
The Indians juggled Wittgren, Perez, and Cimber throughout this, then left Cimber in to face left-handed Kole Calhoun, who represented the tying run. Cimber rose to the occasion and struck him out on three pitches, ending the threat.
As if to make it clear that the Indians wouldn’t let the Angels back into the game at any point, they added some insurance runs. In style.
Carlos Santana launched the third home run of the game for the Indians. After that, Jose Ramirez popped up to shallow left, but the Angels’ Thaiss couldn’t make the catch. Somehow, the Astros left third base uncovered, so Ramirez motored his way to within 90 feet from home. Franmil Reyes drove him in with a long line drive that sent Trout backpeddling to just in front of the track.
The bits and the tids
- Yasiel Puig reached on an error and then was immediately picked off in the first inning. It’s not clear exactly how he go caught so flat footed, but Pujols had enough time to swipe for the tag twice while Puig flopped toward first.
- Reyes’ long drive to center had an expected batting average of .860. Last night, he had another hit with an xBA greater than .700. It’s only going to be a matter of time before those find grass (or seats), but its encouraging to see he’s still producing even if they aren’t via hits.
- Brad Hand came into the ninth inning to finish things off, presumably because he needed the work. He’d last pitched on July 31 and will likely be available tomorrow if necessary.