Indians boot their way to sixth straight loss
Cleveland, OH -- C.J. Wilson struggled through five and one-third innings, but Cleveland's sloppy defense and continually-quiet bats doomed the home team, as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim beat the Indians 7-2 Saturday night.
Wilson (12-6, 3.49) won his fourth consecutive decision in a game that failed to lean in one team's direction until the final two innings. He has not lost a game since July 5. Overall, Wilson allowed two earned runs on seven hits and four walks, consistently working out of tough jams.
Ubaldo Jimenez (8-7, 4.11) was the tough luck loser, allowing three runs (two earned) in six and one-third innings. He gave up five hits and walked three while striking out five.
Cleveland began the current homestand three games out of first place in the American League Central. After dropping four against Detroit and two against the Angels, the Indians now trail the Tigers by eight games.
"This is a game where how you handle frustration goes so far in how your season is defined, and we're going to find out," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
After Wilson worked out a first and third jam in the first inning, the Indians scored the first run of the game on an infield single by Drew Stubbs. Yan Gomes scored from third on the play when Angels third baseman Chris Nelson bobbled the ball while attempting to throw home.
The Angels responded with a run of their own in the top of the third when Mike Trout grounded into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded, tying the game at one. Jimenez prevented further damage, however, inducing a ground out to end the inning.
After Jimenez walked Chris Iannetta to open the fifth, the pitcher misplayed a bunt and threw it away, advancing runners to second and third with no outs. The Angels plated two runs to take a 3-1 lead on back-to-back sacrifice flies.
The Indians pulled the score to 3-2 in the sixth on a Michael Bourn RBI-single, but failed to come any closer.
Bourn's hit drove Wilson from the game, but the Angels bullpen took control of the game. Five relievers combined to allow no base runners, while striking out six.
After retiring the final hitter in the seventh, Bryan Shaw stayed on to pitch the top of the eighth. After Josh Hamiltonsingled to lead off the inning, Asdrubal Cabrera made an error on a fielder's choice to put runners at first and second. After a Shaw wild pitch moved both runners up a base, Erik Aybar grounded to second, but Jason Kipnis threw wildly, allowing both runners to score.
Shaw exited the game after failing to retire a batter and with the Indians trailing 5-2. Cody Allen failed to provide much relief, however, allowing a RBI-single to Nelson, followed by a walk and another hit, which loaded the bases. Still with no outs, J.B. Shuck hit the third Angels sacrifice fly of the game, plating a seventh run. The run was the fourth of the inning and put the Indians in an insurmountable hole.
The four errors were a season high for the Indians and made just five of the seven runs charged against Tribe pitches earned.
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.