Indians close out set with hosting Angels

Cleveland, which took two of three from the Oakland A’s before moving south to
face the Angels, are now 22-10 overall and a game over .500 on the road thanks
to a 4-3 win versus LA on Saturday. The victory was the second in the last
three outings and the ninth in 11 games for the Indians, who are now 4 1/2
games ahead of surprising Kansas City for first place in the AL Central.

Shin-Soo Choo hit a two-run double for the Indians, while Orlando Cabrera and
Carlos Santana also knocked in a run during the victory. Starting pitcher Alex
White allowed three runs on seven hits and a pair of walks, striking out six
over the course of six innings in order to earn his first career win in the
majors. Chris Perez pitched a scoreless ninth to grab his 10th save of the
campaign.

“It’s a great feeling. Something I’ve looked forward to for a long time …
It’s one of those nights you’ll remember forever,” White said of his triumph.

After winning six games to open the 2011 campaign, LA hurler Jered Weaver was
charged with his second straight loss. Weaver permitted all four runs on seven
hits and two walks, failing to strike out a single batter in six innings of
action.

“Sometimes you go out there without your best stuff and battle. In the fourth
and fifth inning I got away from my game plan. You have days like that.
Sometimes you have to tip your cap,” noted Weaver.

Vernon Wells hit a two-run home run in the second inning to give the hosts an
early lead, adding a sacrifice fly in the sixth to plate Torii Hunter, but
that was the extent of the offense for the Angels as they finished the meeting
0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

Sporting one of the best earned run averages (1.76) of any starter in the
American League at the moment, Dan Haren takes the ball for the Angels this
afternoon. The right-hander is 4-2 on the season, with one of those victories
stemming from an April 12 performance against these same Indians at home when
he threw nine shutout innings, allowing just one hit and a pair of walks while
striking out eight in the 2-0 triumph.

However, Haren and the Angels have now gone three starts without a tally in
the win column. On Tuesday the California native was touched for a season-high
nine hits and four earned runs over seven innings in a 7-3 loss to the Boston
Red Sox. Haren did match his season-best with eight strikeouts and didn’t
issue a base-on-balls for the fifth time this year, but still that wasn’t
enough.

Now in his ninth season in the majors Haren, who needs just three more
strikeouts for 1,300, has a career mark of 3-2 with a 4.06 ERA versus
Cleveland.

Right-hander Fausto Carmona is slated to counter for the Indians today,
shooting for his fourth win of the season. The 27-year old already has a loss
to the Angels on his record in 2011, bowing to LA on the road back on April 12
as he permitted just two runs on four hits and three walks over 7 2/3 innings.
In that same game Carmona tallied his season-high for strikeouts with six.

More recently Carmona stepped up against the Oakland A’s on Tuesday and came
away with his third win of the campaign, a 4-1 final after working eight
innings and giving up just a single run on five hits.

The six-year veteran, who is gunning for the 50th win of his career today, has
yet to defeat the Angels and is just 0-3 with a 2.11 ERA in five games.

Despite being the top team in the American League and tied with the
Philadelphia Phillies for the best record in baseball heading into Mother’s
Day, the Indians have still had their issues on offense over the last week
with a slugging percentage of just .277. Over the last week Cleveland is the
lone AL club without a home run. Cabrera leads the group with four runs scored
during the stretch, but even he batted only .250 over 20 at-bats.

Wells has knocked in seven runs and crossed the plate six times himself over
the last seven games for the Angels, but his seven strikeouts have also
contributed significantly to his mere .222 batting average over that span.
Bobby Abreu has managed to transform eight singles and a pair of doubles into
a team-best eight RBI in the last week. However, through a total of 33 games
Abreu has just 16 RBI total and is still well below his career batting average
of .296.

The Angels, who are still first in the AL West by a game over the Texas
Rangers, are 3-2 in the season series thus far with Cleveland after the
Indians posted a 5-4 advantage over LA in 2010.

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