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Angels rally in ninth to foil Westbrook, beat Indians

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

CLEVELAND -- Jake Westbrook got the ground balls he wanted, just not the groundouts he needed.

Westbrook carried a two-hitter into the ninth inning and was two outs away from his second career shutout when the Los Angeles Angels rallied for a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.

"I guess that's why we play nine," said Angels outfielder Darin Erstad, who tied it with an RBI single in the ninth. "It doesn't seem fair to him (Westbrook)."

Nothing has been fair this season for Westbrook (1-7). The right-hander has lost two complete games, dropped three one-run games and hasn't gotten any help from Cleveland's sluggish offense. In his nine starts, the Indians have scored 19 runs.

"He has been our tough-luck guy," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Bartolo Colon (5-3) matched Westbrook for eight innings, allowing just one run and four hits. He appeared to be on his way to his own tough loss before the Angels finally figured out Westbrook.

"He was filthy," Erstad said of Westbrook. "Both pitchers were great."

Westbrook entered the ninth having retired 20 in a row and it quickly became 21 when he struck out pinch-hitter Juan Rivera leading off. Adam Kennedy then capped an eight-pitch at-bat with a single to give the Angels new life.

"I tip my cap to Mr. Kennedy," Chone Figgins said. "If not for that at-bat I don't think we're celebrating right now."

Figgins also came through with a clutch single on Westbrook's first pitch to advance Kennedy. Indians manager Eric Wedge didn't have anyone warming up and it was too late anyway when Erstad bounced an RBI single to right -- also on Westbrook's first offering.

"It's a tough one," said Westbrook. "It's kind of frustrating. I was hitting my spots and I felt strong, even in the ninth. It's just one of those things."

With runners at first and third, Westbrook was lifted for reliever Arthur Rhodes. He got pinch-hitter Bengie Molina to hit a fly to medium right that was deep enough to score Figgins, who slid home ahead of Casey Blake's throw.

The Angels felt fortunate to win and take two of three in the series.

"Westbrook pitched an incredible game," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "I don't think he could have done any more than he did."

Scot Shields pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save and second filling in for Francisco Rodriguez, who is sidelined with a strained right forearm. Shields struck out Jody Gerut looking for the final out.

For eight innings, Westbrook's nasty sinker had the Angels guessing, overswinging and pounding the ball into the infield grass.

Westbrook got 15 outs on grounders, and was helped by two double plays from Cleveland's defense. Third baseman Aaron Boone and second baseman Ronnie Belliard also made excellent plays to take hits away from the Angels.

Gerut, making his season debut in Cleveland's outfield, drove in the Indians' only run with an RBI double in the fourth off Colon, who was pitching on just three days' rest.

Gerut hadn't played in the majors since tearing a knee ligament at Jacobs Field on Sept. 17. He was recalled because Coco Crisp went on the 15-day disabled list after spraining his right thumb while sliding into third on Tuesday night.

Gerut wanted to make his season debut earlier, but the Indians felt he needed more work and left him in Buffalo to refine his game. After walking in his first at-bat, Gerut gave the Indians a 1-0 lead with his double.

"It felt good to be out there again," Gerut said. "A lot of fans were saying, 'Welcome back.' It's good to feel a little of that again."


  • The Indians dropped to 5-11 in one-run games.
  • Rodriguez, who didn't pitch in the series, played catch before the game and said he didn't have any pain. He will be examined on Thursday by Los Angeles team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum.
  • Crisp bent his thumb all the way back on his ill-fated slide but played six more innings before the pain became too much. Doctors told him it could take at least three weeks for his thumb to heal completely.
  • Los Angeles OF Garret Anderson sat out because of a tight right hamstring. Vladimir Guerrero took Anderson's cleanup spot for the first time this season.
  • Cleveland's bullpen, a mess at this point a year ago, entered with the AL's lowest ERA (2.45) and 11 saves in 14 chances. Last season, Indians relievers had already blown 10 saves and had a 6.72 ERA.
Copyright 2015 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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Adam Kennedy, who starts the winning rally with a single, slides home with the tying run. (AP)
Adam Kennedy, who starts the winning rally with a single, slides home with the tying run. (AP)

Players of the Game

D. Erstad
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

B. Colon
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 4
K 3

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Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, LF4110010 .255
Darin Erstad, 1B4021010 .252
Jeff DaVanon, DH2000110 .225
   a- Bengie Molina, PH-DH0001000 .295
Vladimir Guerrero, RF3000101 .309
Steve Finley, CF4010012 .202
Orlando Cabrera, SS3000021 .236
Dallas McPherson, 3B3000011 .218
Jose Molina, C2000000 .180
   b- Juan Rivera, PH1000010 .238
    Josh Paul, C0000000 .167
Adam Kennedy, 2B3110000 .244
a-hit a sacrifice fly for DaVanon in the 9th
b-struck out for Molina in the 9th
SF - Bengie Molina (2)
RBI - Darin Erstad (15), Bengie Molina (13)
Team LOB - 3
DP - Cabrera-Erstad
Los Angeles Angels
Bartolo Colon (W,5-3) 8411430 2.67
Scot Shields (S,4) 1000020 1.19
Pitches-Strikes - Bartolo Colon 109-57, Scot Shields 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bartolo Colon 14-6, Scot Shields 1-0
Batters Faced - Bartolo Colon 31, Scot Shields 3
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF3010101 .282
Alex Cora, SS3000002 .216
Victor Martinez, C4000013 .198
Travis Hafner, DH3000102 .272
Ben Broussard, 1B4100011 .264
Casey Blake, RF3000121 .192
Jody Gerut, LF3011110 .333
Aaron Boone, 3B3010003 .163
Ron Belliard, 2B3010003 .264
2B - Jody Gerut (1, Colon)
SH - Alex Cora (1)
RBI - Jody Gerut (1)
2-OUT RBI - Jody Gerut (1)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Cora-Broussard, Belliard-Cora-Broussard
Cleveland Indians
Jake Westbrook (L,1-7) 8.1522180 5.80
Arthur Rhodes 0.2000100 0.95
IBB - Guerrero by Arthur Rhodes
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 103-72, Arthur Rhodes 11-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 13-2, Arthur Rhodes 1-1
Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 29, Arthur Rhodes 3
Game Information
Attendance - 19030
Game Time - 2:33
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Tim Tschida, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Ron Kulpa