ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Joe Saunders and Dustin Moseley may not pitch again for the Los Angeles Angels until September, when the rosters are expanded. Until then, they can commiserate in the minors and talk about the week they contributed to the team's longest winning streak of the season.
Saunders pitched seven sharp innings in an emergency start for the ailing Kelvim Escobar and the Angels won their eighth straight, beating the Cleveland Indians 7-5 on Tuesday night. After the game, Sanders was sent back to Triple-A Salt Lake.
"I kind of had it in the back of my mind that I was probably going to get sent down after the game," the 25-year-old left-hander said after his first major league victory. "So it's basically one and done. But it was a good one, because I got my first win. Hopefully, there's many more."
Saunders (1-0) allowed two runs -- one earned -- and four hits, after going 10-3 with a 2.50 ERA in 19 starts with Salt Lake. A first-round draft pick in 2002, Saunders made his other two big league starts last season and allowed eight earned runs in 9 1/3 innings.
"After the third inning the nerves settled down a little bit and I just tried to settle down and keep the ball down," Saunders said. "I threw a lot of two-seamers down in the zone, hoping they'd hit it on the ground and my defense would turn the double play. And that's what they did."
Saunders struck out five, walked four and induced four of Cleveland's five double-play grounders. Escobar didn't start because of irritation in his right elbow.
"It's an honor to get called up, period," Saunders said. "I'm not sure what they have in store for me, so I just wanted to come up here and make the most of my opportunity. It's a little disconcerting to be sent right back down, but this rotation is so good, I'm not going to crack it unless someone gets hurt. I know that and they know that."
The Angels handed the Indians their fifth straight loss by basically following the same script as Monday night, when Moseley was called up from Salt Lake for one day and beat Cleveland 10-5 in his major league debut. The right-hander was making a spot start for the injured Jered Weaver.
"There's a little pressure because this team has been doing so well without us," Saunders said. "Me and Moseley really tried to come in here and not do anything wrong. We both kept the team in the game and let our defense make the plays behind us."
The win was the Angels' 13th in 14 games, putting them three games over .500 (48-45) for the first time this season and keeping them one-half game behind first-place Oakland. The winning streak matches their longest of last season, when they won their second straight AL West title.
"They're doing pretty good right now," Cleveland shortstop Jhonny Peralta said. "They threw two pitchers at us that they called up from Triple-A and those guys threw pretty good. (Sanders) has a good fastball and sinker and changeup, and he used them all tonight. They've got a good pitcher there."
Cleveland scored two runs in the ninth off Kevin Gregg to make it 7-4 before Francisco Rodriguez came on with two on and two outs. He gave up a run-scoring single to Grady Sizemore and then got pinch-hitter Todd Hollandsworth to fly out for his 23rd save.
Juan Rivera homered twice for the Angels, his third multi-homer game this season -- all this month -- and the sixth of his career. He made it 6-1 in the sixth with a leadoff homer and then hit his 13th of the season leading off the eighth against Brian Sikorski. He was the first batter Sikorski faced after being obtained earlier Tuesday from the San Diego Padres.
Cliff Lee (9-7) allowed six runs -- five earned -- and seven hits in five-plus innings after going 6-1 with a 3.76 ERA over his previous eight starts. The left-hander began that stretch with a 14-2 win over the Angels on June 3.
Three batters later, Tim Salmon put the Angels ahead to stay with a two-out RBI double and Howie Kendrick followed with a two-run single. Right fielder Casey Blake then misplayed Chone Figgins' hit-and-run single, allowing Robb Quinlan to score from first base.
- The Angels will recall OF Reggie Willits from Salt Lake on Wednesday to replace Saunders on the roster.
- Cleveland's Travis Hafner was 0-for-4, ending his career-best hitting streak at 12 games.
- Lee's .783 winning percentage last season (18-5) made him the first Cleveland pitcher to lead the AL in that department since 1951, when Hall of Famer Bob Feller was 22-8. Wednesday will mark the 70th anniversary of Feller's major league debut.
- According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Moseley made history in Monday's cameo appearance. He became the first starting pitcher in the "live ball" era (1920-present) to win his big league debut despite throwing only five innings and allowing 10 or more hits.