Indians defeat Angels in 14 innings
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Drew Stubbs hit a two-run homer in the 14th inning, and the Cleveland Indians outlasted the Los Angeles Angels 4-1 Tuesday night to gain ground in the AL playoff race.
Lonnie Chisenhall got the Indians going with a one-out single in the 14th off Joe Blanton (2-14), the Angels’ seventh pitcher. Stubbs, the Indians’ No. 9 hitter, was 0 for 4 with a walk before connecting for his first homer since July 4.
Michael Bourn then singled and scored from second on Blanton’s throwing error for the Angels, who have lost eight of 10. Los Angeles stranded 17 runners – 13 after the sixth inning, including two in the final frame.
Carlos Santana hit a tying homer in the seventh for the Indians, who managed just four hits in the first 12 innings.
But with 13 consecutive scoreless innings thrown by nine pitchers – that’s everybody in the bullpen – Cleveland pulled within 5 games of AL Central leader Detroit and 3 games of wild-card leader Oakland after both teams lost earlier.
Carlos Carrasco (1-4) pitched the final two innings, setting off cheers in a small group of hearty fans behind Cleveland’s dugout when he got Chris Nelson on a comebacker with two runners on to end the 5-hour, 17-minute game.
J.B. Shuck hit a leadoff homer more than five hours before the final out, but the Angels couldn’t score again despite 12 hits.
The Angels outpitched the Indians’ group until they got to Blanton, who leads the AL with 29 homers allowed in his miserable season – even though he lost his spot in Los Angeles’ rotation last month.
C.J. Wilson yielded four hits and a run while pitching into the eighth inning of a superb start for the Angels, striking out five. But rookie Danny Salazar pitched three-hit ball into the sixth inning in his fourth major league start for Cleveland, and his bullpen was impenetrable.
Mike Trout sat out his second straight game for Los Angeles, resting his tight right hamstring.
Wilson kept the Indians down until Santana led off the seventh with his 15th homer. Peter Bourjos lost his glove over the wall while trying to make the catch – so the Angels’ center fielder scaled the wall, leaped over to get the glove back and climbed back onto the field.
Both teams had ample opportunities to score late, and the Indians made several remarkable escapes.
Wilson and reliever Dane De La Rosa walked the bases loaded in the eighth, but De La Rosa struck out Yan Gomes to end it. Josh Hamilton then got picked off second base in the eighth, preventing Kole Calhoun’s single from driving him home moments later.
The Angels stranded two more runners in the ninth when Asdrubal Cabrera made an impressive play on Erick Aybar’s grounder at shortstop to force extra innings.
Hamilton, Trumbo and Calhoun loaded the bases with nobody out in the 10th, but relievers Matt Albers, Rich Hill and Bryan Shaw each got one out, with Shaw striking out Grant Green.
The Angels then got two runners on with two outs in the 12th, but Bourn leaped to rob Hank Conger of an extra-base hit off the center-field wall.
Los Angeles’ much-maligned bullpen retired 10 straight batters before Santana drew a two-out walk in the 13th and hustled to third on Gomes’ single to left, but Cabrera flied out.
NOTES: Trout got hurt during Sunday’s loss to Houston, forcing him to miss consecutive games for the first time in the past two seasons. The All-Star outfielder had skipped just one game all season before this series. … Juan Gutierrez pitched two hitless extra innings for Los Angeles, but didn’t get his first victory since Sept. 9, 2009. Gutierrez’s stretch of 127 2-3 innings for Arizona, Kansas City and the Angels without a victory is the majors’ longest active streak. … With two off days in the next week, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he’ll “make some adjustments” to the Angels’ starting rotation. Jerome Williams, who hasn’t won since June 12, will still start Wednesday against Cleveland’s 13-game winner, Justin Masterson. … Angels C Chris Iannetta snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a seventh-inning single, but Bourjos went hitless in six at-bats to drop to 0 for 18 since his return from a broken right wrist.