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Indians rally for six runs to comeback and stun Angels, 6-5

Three homers and stellar 'pen end Cleveland's six game skid

Indians rally for six runs to comeback and stun Angels, 6-5
August 11, 2013
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CLEVELAND—They say hitting is contagious.

Trailing Los Angeles 5-0 in the sixth inning, the Indians rallied for six unanswered runs to stun the Angels and win, 6-5. The comeback victory snaps a six-game losing streak as the Tribe takes the final game of the three-game series.

“We needed this victory,” center fielder Michael Bourn said. “We just kept fighting.”

Cleveland starter Justin Masterson (13-8, 3.59 ERA) did not look anything like his usual self Sunday, as he lasted just 4 1/3 innings giving up four runs on seven hits in the ballgame.

L.A. took advantage of the struggling Masterson, striking for two runs in the first inning on a RBI single by designated hitter Josh Hamilton. First baseman Mark Trumbo followed up his hit by hustling out a RBI fielder’s choice.

The Angels weren’t done, as they added two more in the second inning off Masty, this time on a two out, two-run single by 2012 American League Rookie of the Year Mike Trout.

With a five run lead after right fielder Kole Calhoun singled home Grant Green in the fourth, it looked like that was all Angels starter Jerome Williams (5-8, 4.85 ERA) needed Sunday. The 31- year-old right-hander shut out the Indians to just one hit through five brilliant innings of work before he ran into trouble in the sixth.

After getting the first two outs in the home half of the inning, Bourn singled off Williams for just the second hit for the Tribe in the ballgame. Two pitches later, first baseman Nick Swisher belted his twelfth homer to the bleachers in left to finally give the Cleveland offense life.

Then, the team continued the offensive outbreak as contagious hitting started to spread.

Second baseman Jason Kipnis followed Swisher’s blast with a walk before shortstop Mike Aviles got on the long ball act with a two-run home run of his own to the left field bleachers, cutting the Angels deficit to 5-4.

Aviles entered the ballgame in the third inning after shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Vic Carapazza.

Los Angles manager Mike Scioscia pulled Williams after 5 2/3 innings, but the move still paid off for the Tribe as catcher Carlos Santana belted a game tying solo home run off reliever J.C. Gutierrez to leadoff the home half of the seventh.

Four batters later, Bourn struck again in the clutch, this time on a go-ahead RBI single down the left field line off Angles lefty Nick Maronde that put the Indians up 6-5 and they never looked back.

“In a game like this, one hit could be the difference,” Tribe manager Terry Francona said. “We kept playing and that’s the team we have to be.”

Unlike the L.A. bullpen, the Indians bullpen was outstanding through their 3 2/3 innings of scoreless work behind the arms of Rich Hill, Matt Albers, and Joe Smith. Tribe closer Chris Perez notched his 18th save with a scoreless ninth, in what was arguably one of the biggest victories for the club on the season.

“Bourn kept saying to the guys, ‘Let’s play nine,’ and he was very vocal about it,” Francona said. “We have to fight through frustration, and this is a good game to win.”

Despite the rallied victory, Cleveland (63-55) was unable to pick up a game in the wild card standings as they remain four games in back of the Oakland Athletics. They did however gain a game on the first place Detroit Tigers, as the team sits seven games in back of their division rivals in the A.L. Central.

Offensively, the six runs on eight hits were the most runs the club has scored since August 1.

The Tribe will now hit the road to Minneapolis to start a three-game series with the last place Minnesota Twins. Rookie sensation Danny Salazar (1-0, 3.29 ERA) will make his third big league start Monday against southpaw Andrew Albers (1-0, 0.00 ERA) at Target Field.

Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at jberdysz27@gmail.com.

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