Anaheim at Cleveland

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Pronked: Hafner's three-run blast powers Indians over Angels

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- After taking two out of three games from the Los Angeles Angels in their retractable-roof refuge from the snow, the Cleveland Indians are ready for a real home opener -- no matter how cold, wet and miserable it gets at Jacobs Field.

"Road trip to Cleveland this weekend," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Travis Hafner's three-run homer in the eighth inning powered the Indians to a 4-2 comeback victory over the Angels at Miller Park on Thursday, in the finale of a series that was moved from Cleveland to Milwaukee after snow wiped out the Indians' four-game series against the Seattle Mariners.

"The way these guys came out here and competed and battled against a good club after being off, I don't think you can ask for a whole lot more," Wedge said.

The Indians return to Cleveland for what should be their true home opener against the Chicago White Sox on Friday night, but they might get another chilly reception. The weekend weather forecast in Cleveland calls for a mixture of rain and snow with high temperatures in the low 40s.

"The weather's definitely better inside the dome than probably what we're headed back to," Hafner said.

Still, the Indians aren't entertaining thoughts of playing the division rival White Sox anywhere other than Jacobs Field.

"It's time to get back home," Wedge said.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen jokingly suggested they move the series to Caracas in his native Venezuela.

"Caracas, they need some fan support," Guillen said after the White Sox took two out of three games in Oakland. "Let's go play in Caracas."

Wedge laughed off Guillen's suggestion as another instance of Ozzie being Ozzie.

"That doesn't surprise me," Wedge said.

The Angels took a 2-1 lead on two eighth-inning errors. But Scot Shields (0-1) walked the first two batters he faced in the bottom half and Hafner hit a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right field for his first home run of the year.

"You know if you make consistent, hard contact, home runs will come," Hafner said.

Shields threw a fastball after he fell behind Hafner, hoping he would take the pitch.

"He didn't miss it," Shields said. "He'll make you pay for your mistakes."

Aaron Fultz (2-0) finished the eighth inning for his second win. Joe Borowski pitched the ninth for his third save.

Angels starter Dustin Moseley and Indians starter Jeremy Sowers cruised through the first five innings, holding both teams scoreless, but neither factored in the decision.

Despite the hassle of an unexpected road trip, Wedge praised Milwaukee fans and Brewers officials for their hospitality this week.

"Milwaukee's been fantastic for us, and we really appreciate everything," Wedge said.

The Brewers announced a crowd of 17,090 for Thursday's game, bringing the three-game series total to 52,496.

"The crowds were much better than we anticipated, and they were into the games," Hafner said. "They have those unique waves that are fun to watch. Overall, it was a great atmosphere."

Although the venue change was more jarring for Cleveland than it was for Los Angeles -- the Angels were going to be on the road either way -- both teams tried to make the best of an odd situation.

Angels traveling secretary Tom Taylor and communications manager Eric Kay dressed in sausage mascot costumes to run in Miller Park's famous sausage race in the bottom of the sixth inning on Thursday.

"Maybe we'll have bats ready as they go by," Angels manager Mike Scioscia joked before the game.

Taylor won wearing the hot dog costume, and Kay finished second in the brat.

"Honestly, that was one of the top-five coolest things this job has afforded me -- easily," Kay said.

Notes

  • Angels manager Mike Scioscia said injured starters Bartolo Colon and Jered Weaver are progressing well in their rehab stints, but Joe Saunders will get at least one more start. Saunders gave up one run in 6 2/3 innings for the victory Wednesday night.
  • Because of the weather forecast, the Indians moved Saturday's home game against Chicago to 1:05 p.m. ET from 7:05 p.m.
  • College basketball analyst Dick Vitale, who was in Wisconsin for a speaking engagement, threw ground balls to his twin grandsons on the field before the game and toured both clubhouses.
 
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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Look at that: Travis Hafner watches his three-run homer as the Indians take the series.  (AP)
Look at that: Travis Hafner watches his three-run homer as the Indians take the series. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

T. Hafner
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Anaheim

O. Cabrera
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Los Angeles Angels
Gary Matthews Jr., CF4000012 .278
Orlando Cabrera, SS4230000 .275
Vladimir Guerrero, DH3021100 .405
Garret Anderson, LF4000013 .286
Robb Quinlan, 3B3000011 .000
    Maicer Izturis, 3B1000001 .345
Howie Kendrick, 2B4000003 .289
Casey Kotchman, 1B4000000 .323
Jose Molina, C3010000 .286
   a- Erick Aybar, PH0000100 .333
Reggie Willits, RF4010011 .250
Totals3427124  
a-walked for Molina in the 9th
Batting
2B - Orlando Cabrera (4, Sowers)
RBI - Vladimir Guerrero (11)
SB - Orlando Cabrera (1, 3rd base off Sowers/Shoppach), Vladimir Guerrero (1, 2nd base off Sowers/Shoppach)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Kendrick-Cabrera-Kotchman, Kendrick-Cabrera-Kotchman
E - Howie Kendrick (2, Missed catch of throw)
Los Angeles Angels
Dustin Moseley 6511231 1.50
Justin Speier 1000010 1.23
Scot Shields (BS,1; L,0-1) 1233201 3.68
Pitches-Strikes - Dustin Moseley 89-52, Justin Speier 7-5, Scot Shields 28-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dustin Moseley 11-3, Justin Speier 1-1, Scot Shields 1-2
Batters Faced - Dustin Moseley 24, Justin Speier 3, Scot Shields 7
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF2211200 .364
Trot Nixon, RF3010102 .353
    Jason Michaels, PR-RF0100000 .375
Travis Hafner, DH4123001 .318
David Dellucci, LF4010011 .235
Casey Blake, 1B-3B3000111 .227
Jhonny Peralta, SS4010001 .333
Josh Barfield, 2B3000001 .125
Andy Marte, 3B2000011 .136
   a- Ryan Garko, PH-1B1000012 .250
Kelly Shoppach, C3010003 .250
Totals2947444  
a-struck out for Marte in the 7th
Batting
HR - Grady Sizemore (4, Moseley), Travis Hafner (1, Shields)
SH - Josh Barfield (1)
RBI - Grady Sizemore (5), Travis Hafner 3 (4)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Casey Blake (1, Throwing), Roberto Hernandez (2, Missed catch of throw)
Cleveland Indians
Jeremy Sowers 7611030 2.08
Roberto Hernandez 0.2110100 9.00
Aaron Fultz (W,2-0) 0.1000000 0.00
Joe Borowski (S,3) 1000110 6.75
IBB - Guerrero by Roberto Hernandez
WP - Jeremy Sowers (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Sowers 102-65, Roberto Hernandez 18-8, Aaron Fultz 3-1, Joe Borowski 18-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Sowers 8-10, Roberto Hernandez 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeremy Sowers 27, Roberto Hernandez 4, Aaron Fultz 1, Joe Borowski 4
Game Information
Attendance - 17090
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 59
Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Marty Foster