Covering the Bases: Game 19

Final:

Angels 2, Indians 1

FIRST: Jeanmar Gomez has arguably been the Indians’ best start since the onset of Spring Training and that did not change on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out seven in six innings. He allowed two runs… and was hung with a hard-luck loss.

A walk came back to bite Gomez in the first inning (via an RBI single from Kendrys Morales) and the righty gave up a solo homer to Torii Hunter in the fourth. Given the continued offensive issues for the Tribe, that was enough to do Cleveland in on this afternoon.

Gomez’s season ERA spiked to 2.35 with the 100-pitch outing.

SECOND: It’s easy to pile on the offense for the continued lack of production, but there are times when you have to — pardon the cliche — tip your cap to the opposing pitcher. Squaring off against Jered Weaver and Dan Haren in back-to-back games is no easy task, and Cleveland squeezed one win out of that situation.

Haren did his thing on Saturday, striking out eight and holding the Indians to one run over eight innings. Cleveland finished 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and scored two or fewer runs for the fourth time in six games. The Indians put the leadoff man aboard in two innings, but Haren minimized the damage.

THIRD: On a positive note, how about that bullpen? Joe Smith followed Gomez with two impressive shutout innings and Nick Hagadone logged one clean frame as well. Over the past three games, the Tribe’s ‘pen has logged eight shutout innings, holding hitters to a 2-for-26 (.077 average) showing with seven strikeouts and one walk.

HOME: Who will snap out of their home run drought first, Albert Pujols or the Indians? Pujols is stuck in a homerless drought of 113 at-bats, dating back to Sept. 22 of last season. That’s the longest power outage of his career. Cleveland, meanwhile, hasn’t cleared a fence in 10+ games, 93 innings and 334 at-bats, dating back to Carlos Santana’s fifth-inning blast against the Mariners on April 17. The Indians haven’t experienced a homer drought of at least 10 games since a 14-game stretch from April 10-27, 1983.

On deck:

Angels (7-14) at Indians (10-9)
at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday at Progressive Field

–JB

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