ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – For the third time in four days, the Los Angeles Angels faced a Cy Young award winner. Unlike Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in their series with the Dodgers, they found many of Corey Kluber’s pitches quite hittable.
Conor Gillaspie slugged a go-ahead home run off the Cleveland Indians’ right-hander, and Los Angeles snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory on Monday night.
“I was just kind of looking for a mistake,” Gillaspie said. “He’s tough. He’s got good stuff, good movement, and he’s one of the elite pitchers at this level. So you really have to get locked in and concentrate, just try to put the barrel on the ball against a guy like that. You feel pretty lucky to get a hit off a guy like that. I’d have been just as happy with a hit.”
Garrett Richards (11-8) tied a career high with 11 strikeouts in 7 2-3 innings, allowing four runs, four hits and three walks. Huston Street got the last three outs for his 26th save in 29 attempts, and his first since becoming the 27th member of the 300-save club on July 22.
Gillaspie, acquired by the Angels from the Chicago White Sox in a cash deal on July 24 after third baseman David Freese broke a finger, connected in the sixth after a leadoff single by Erick Aybar. It was his fourth home run this season and first in seven games with his new club.
Four batters later, DeJesus – one of three outfielders the Angels got at the trading deadline – chased Kluber with a two-out RBI single.
“The home run was obviously the biggest mistake,” Kluber said. “It was a cutter that just kind of stayed up and was pretty much right in the middle of the plate.”
The Angels closed to 3-2 in the fifth with a pair of seeing-eye RBI singles up the middle by Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout, after Kluber gave up a leadoff double to C.J. Cron and hit David DeJesus on a 1-2 count with two out.
“Early in the game, I made better pitches when I was ahead of guys. But the last couple of innings, I didn’t quite execute them well enough and they found some holes,” Kluber said. “They did a good job of putting the ball in play. They probably hit the ball harder the first four innings than they did the last two. Five groundball hits were half their hits.”
Kluber (6-12) was charged with five runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings, and left with a 3.60 ERA this season. He faced a lineup missing slugger Albert Pujols, who got the night off after playing first base in all three interleague games at Dodger Stadium because the Angels weren’t able to use a designated hitter.
Yan Gomes hit a two-run homer for Cleveland in the first inning and center fielder Michael Bourn robbed Calhoun of a home run in the bottom half.
The Indians scored three times in the first. Michael Brantley hit an RBI single and came home Gomes’ sixth homer.
“I put us in a hole early, but I told myself that I could still make an outing out of this. I think that’s a part of maturing and evolving as a staring pitcher in this league,” Richards said. “You’ve got to go out there and eat up as many innings as possible and give the year a chance to win.”
Cleveland didn’t get another hit until Santana’s two-out single in the sixth, which ended a string of 14 straight batters retired by Richards.
Indians: Placed All-Star 2B and leadoff hitter Jason Kipnis on the 15-day disabled list because of chronic inflammation in his right shoulder. He returned Cleveland to be examined by team doctors. … RF Lonnie Chisenhall left the game in the fourth inning because of a cervical strain, which occurred when he tried to make a diving catch on a bloop single by Carlos Perez in the third.
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver, who hasn’t pitched for the club since June 20 because of inflammation in his left hip, is scheduled to make his second rehab start for Class A Inland Empire on Tuesday.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (11-8) is 7-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 10 road starts this season. Last Thursday at Oakland, he pitched a two-hitter and retired his final 16 batters in a 3-1 victory.
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker (5-7) has allowed fewer than three runs in each of his last five starts, and is coming off back-to-back scoreless outings against Minnesota (six innings) and Houston (seven innings).
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