The Indians continued their backwards slide out of playoff contention on Saturday night as the Angels beat them by a score of 7-2. The loss is the Indians sixth straight and pushes them eight games back of the Tigers in the Central and four games pack in the crowded wild card standings.
Things got off to a promising start yesterday evening. The Indians took the lead 1-0 in the bottom of the second on an infield single by Drew Stubbs. Angels third baseman Chris Nelson was unable to make a play on a soft grounder which allowed Yan Gomes to cross the plate. Unfortunately, that would be all the Indians would get out of the brief rally as Michael Bourn grounded out and Jason Kipnis flied out following a Nick Swisher walk.
The lead wouldn’t last thanks to Mike Trout. With the bases loaded and one out, Trout hit a grounder at third baseman Mike Aviles. Aviles went to second to get the force out, but Kipnis didn’t even consider a relay to first because of Trout’s speed. With the score now 1-1, Ubaldo Jimenez ended the inning by striking out Josh Hamilton. In the top of the fifth, the Angels took a 3-1 lead thanks to back to back sacrifice flies by J.B. Shuck and Kole Calhoun.
Speaking of Jimenez, he did well in his first start in over a week. He lasted 6.1 innings, and allowed only three runs before handing things over to the bullpen. He was much better this time out than against the Marlins back on August 2. He struck out five, but did get himself into a bit of trouble with three walks. In the end, though, Jimenez kept things close for 6.1 innings and gave the Indians all the opportunity they could ask for to pull this game out.
It just wouldn’t happen.
The Indians pulled themselves to within a run in the bottom of the sixth when Michael Bourn singled back up the middle with two on and one out. Yan Gomes raced home to make it a 3-2 game and the Indians were left with runners at the corners. Once again, the rally would stall. Nick Swisher popped out to second and Jason Kipnis struck out to end the inning and the threat.
In the top of the eighth the Angels broke things wide open off of relievers Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen. They scored four runs in the inning to make it a 7-2 game and put things completely out of reach. Unlike the Indians, the Angels bullpen was able to shut down the Indians over the course of 3.2 innings of solid relief work to give C.J. Wilson his twelfth victory of the season after striking out six in 5.1 innings.