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Cleveland at Anaheim

Scoreboard
Cleveland «0102121209132
L.A. Angels120000000370

Lineup shuffle sparks Indians past Angels

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Everything clicked for the Cleveland Indians, thanks to a revamped lineup that had a positive effect on almost everyone in it.

Ben Broussard homered and had three hits in his first game in the cleanup spot this season, helping the Indians beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-3 on Wednesday.

"I love hitting in the middle of the order, wherever it's at," Broussard said. "That's where I hit my whole career in the minor leagues, the 3-4 spot. But we've got some real good 3-4 guys on this team, so I'm fine hitting 5, 6, whatever they need me to hit.

"We've been kind of tweaking the lineup all year, trying to get it going and find the right mixture. That's the way it is when you're scuffling. It was a good feeling today, to be in there and have some situations where guys in front of you were getting on base."

Jhonny Peralta and Casey Blake hit solo homers in the eighth inning for the Indians, who finished 5-4 on their road trip by taking two of three from the defending AL West champions. Coco Crisp went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI single.

Cliff Lee (4-1) shrugged off Jose Molina's two-run homer in the second and won for the third time in four starts, allowing three runs -- two earned -- and five hits in six innings. The left-hander struck out four and walked none.

Cleveland manager Eric Wedge shuffled his batting order against Kelvim Escobar (1-2) in an attempt to wake up an offense that had produced just 10 runs in its previous four games. Escobar allowed four runs and six hits in five innings, striking out nine.

Grady Sizemore, one of five players to hit leadoff in the past two weeks, was at the top of the order for the second time. Blake, who led off in the first two games of the series, hit second. Ron Belliard batted in the fifth spot after making all 26 of his previous starts as the No. 2 hitter.

"Casey had some success in the 2 hole that kind of got him going last year, and Grady's had some experience up top," Wedge said. "Offensively, this was arguably one of our best days of the year -- if not the best. And they kept it going, too, which is something we hadn't been doing. So that was important."

Sizemore and Blake both struck out their first two times up. But in the third, Sizemore singled, Blake doubled and Travis Hafner drove in Sizemore with a groundout to put Cleveland ahead 4-3. Until then, Indians leadoff batters had scored only one run in the previous 13 games.

Escobar struck out the side in the first inning on 13 pitches, but Broussard led off the second with a drive to right-center for his second homer, jump-starting Cleveland's 13-hit assault.

"The guys did a good job of beating a really tough pitcher," Broussard said. "Escobar has the kind of stuff that sometimes seams unhittable, so you've just got to concentrate and battle and hope he makes some mistakes."

Crisp, moved into the sixth spot Tuesday night after batting no lower than second through the first 31 games, greeted reliever Esteban Yan with a leadoff double in the sixth and scored on Peralta's single.

Sizemore followed with an RBI double that made it 6-3 and Crisp added an RBI single in the seventh. The Los Angeles native finished the series 7-for-11 with two homers, three RBI, three doubles, three stolen bases and six runs.

The Indians batted .275 in the three-game series, 42 points above their season average.

Molina gave the Angels a 3-1 lead in the second with his second homer after a leadoff single by Dallas McPherson. But Lee retired his final 13 batters after giving up Steve Finley's two-out double in the second. Last year, Lee started out 10-1 with the only loss coming in Anaheim.

"That's what happens when you get any pitcher on the ropes and let him settle into his game," said Finley, who left in the seventh because of tightness in his groin. "Lee started throwing good quality strikes, and the rest is history. They came back and scored the runs to put them ahead and that was the ballgame."

Angels first baseman Darin Erstad, in a 4-for-36 slump that has dropped his average to .241, sat out for the first time this season.

Notes

  • Angels pitching coach Bud Black, who has turned down several managing opportunities since the team's 2002 World Series title, said he would have to listen if Kansas City contacted him about replacing Tony Pena. "Obviously, it would be flattering," said Black, who spent seven seasons with the Royals and helped them win a world championship in 1985. "My formative years in the game were shaped by the Royals. But like I've said over the last couple of years, I would have to look at the situation and see whether the timing's right for me and my family to even explore that -- if it was brought to my attention that I might be considered."
  • Cleveland third baseman Aaron Boone does not have an RBI in his past 11 games, and has just 11 hits in his past 88 at-bats.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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This solo home run is part of Ben Broussard's big day, his first as the Indians' cleanup hitter.  (AP)
This solo home run is part of Ben Broussard's big day, his first as the Indians' cleanup hitter. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

B. Broussard
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Cleveland

C. Lee
IP 6.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 0
K 4
 
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF5121030 .275
Casey Blake, RF4121120 .190
Travis Hafner, DH5001032 .268
Ben Broussard, 1B5331011 .272
Ron Belliard, 2B5000013 .262
Coco Crisp, LF4231110 .279
Josh Bard, C3011102 .217
Aaron Boone, 3B4000015 .128
Jhonny Peralta, SS4222023 .260
Totals39913831416 
Batting
2B - Grady Sizemore (5, Yan), Casey Blake (3, Escobar), Ben Broussard (9, Yan), Coco Crisp 2 (8, Escobar, Yan)
HR - Casey Blake (6, Woods), Ben Broussard (2, Escobar), Jhonny Peralta (4, Woods)
RBI - Grady Sizemore (14), Casey Blake (12), Travis Hafner (16), Ben Broussard (10), Coco Crisp (9), Josh Bard (3), Jhonny Peralta 2 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Grady Sizemore (10), Casey Blake (4), Jhonny Peralta (5)
SB - Coco Crisp (6, 2nd base off Escobar/Molina)
CS - Coco Crisp (3, 2nd base by Yan/Molina)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Cliff Lee 2 (3, )
Cleveland Indians
Cliff Lee (W,4-1) 6532041 4.24
Arthur Rhodes 1.2200010 1.10
Bob Howry 1.1000110 3.38
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 97-64, Arthur Rhodes 19-16, Bob Howry 24-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 5-10, Arthur Rhodes 2-2, Bob Howry 1-2
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 24, Arthur Rhodes 7, Bob Howry 5
Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, LF4000011 .268
Steve Finley, CF3110000 .198
    Jeff DaVanon, CF1000010 .208
Vladimir Guerrero, RF4000002 .318
Garret Anderson, DH4021010 .295
Orlando Cabrera, SS3010100 .230
Robb Quinlan, 1B4000014 .158
Dallas McPherson, 3B4120010 .210
Jose Molina, C3112011 .175
   a- Juan Rivera, PH1000000 .224
Adam Kennedy, 2B4000001 .185
Totals35373169 
a-popped out for Molina in the 9th
Batting
2B - Steve Finley (6, Lee)
HR - Jose Molina (2, Lee)
RBI - Garret Anderson (27), Jose Molina 2 (5)
2-OUT RBI - Garret Anderson (14)
Team LOB - 6
Los Angeles Angels
Kelvim Escobar (L,1-2) 5644291 3.91
Esteban Yan 2533110 4.32
Jake Woods 2222042 2.70
WP - Kelvim Escobar 2 (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Kelvim Escobar 91-58, Esteban Yan 38-22, Jake Woods 30-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kelvim Escobar 3-3, Esteban Yan 2-2
Batters Faced - Kelvim Escobar 23, Esteban Yan 11, Jake Woods 8
Game Information
Attendance - 35508
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Charlie Reliford, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Greg Gibson