Paul Byrd pitched seven shutout innings to remain perfect in five career decisions against Cleveland, and the Angels' bullpen stepped up with Rodriguez out with an injury in a 3-1 win over the Indians on Monday night.
Byrd (4-3) had an easy time with Cleveland, whose major league-worst batting average dropped to .233. The right-hander gave up just three singles but had no problems against the team that drafted him in 1991.
Byrd lowered his ERA to 1.60 in eight career appearances against Cleveland. He walked three and struck out five.
"I don't know why it is," Byrd said, addressing his dominance of the Indians. "It's just one of those teams. The Mets are like that for me in the National League. I've just had good starts against them."
Although he threw only 85 pitches, Byrd was lifted after the seventh by Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who didn't have Rodriguez available because of a strained right forearm.
"It's closer by committee until Frankie gets back," said Shields, who has allowed one earned run in his last 18 1/3 innings. "We need No. 57 in there. We'll try to hold down the fort until he gets back."
An MRI exam of Rodriguez's forearm was negative, and he is to be re-examined on Thursday by Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Angels' team physician.
Rodriguez said he hurt his arm while pushing off a slippery mound in Detroit on Saturday. He said the Angels haven't decided when he'll throw again, but he's confident his injury isn't serious.
"I don't think there's any ligament damage or anything like that," he said, touching the middle of his forearm. "It's a muscle."
Rodriguez will have treatment on Tuesday before the Angels decide their next move.
Lee walked Darin Erstad on four consecutive pitches opening the fourth and went to 2-0 on Vladimir Guerrero before pitching coach Carl Willis came out to visit the left-hander. Lee battled Guerrero to a full count before the Angels' free-swinging outfielder hit an RBI double off the wall in left to make it 1-0.
Byrd induced the Indians to hit into double plays in the third and fifth innings.
Cleveland manager Eric Wedge was irritated with his team's latest lackluster effort.
"We've got to do a better job of making pitchers work," he said. "We keep doing the same things over and over again. Everyone has to realize that if things aren't working you have to make changes. Until we do that, we're going to continue to struggle."
The Angels staked Byrd to a 2-0 lead by scoring an unearned run in the sixth. After Erstad singled, Guerrero hit a soft single to center that took a funny hop sideways and skipped past Sizemore for an error. Erstad went to third and scored on Anderson's slow roller that third baseman Aaron Boone fielded but couldn't make a play with.
The Angels scored another run in the eighth when Guerrero walked with two outs, stole second and came home on Anderson's single.
Lee allowed two earned runs and seven hits in 7 2/3 innings.
- Boone went 1-for-3 and raised his average to .147.
- Byrd needed only four pitches to get three outs in the third.
- The Indians are the only major-league team Guerrero has faced and not homered against in his career.
- After the game, the Angels recalled rookie RHP Ervin Santana from Double-A Arkansas. He'll make his major-league debut on Tuesday against Cleveland's Scott Elarton. Santana, 22, missed half of last season with an elbow injury. He was 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA in seven starts at Arkansas. To make room, outfielder Chris Prieto was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake.