Cleveland at Anaheim

L.A. Angels
W: K. Escobar (16-7) L: P. Byrd (14-6)
HR: CLE - F. Gutierrez (11)   ANA - G. Anderson (15)

Anderson remains hot; Angels top Indians in battle of first-place teams wire reports

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Driving in runs has always been Garret Anderson's top priority.

The Angels slugger extended his streak to a club-record 11 games with at least one RBI, knocking in three runs and leading Los Angeles past the Cleveland Indians 10-3 on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series between AL division leaders.

"I've made my living driving in runs and not worrying about hitting home runs," said Anderson, who has hit nine of his 15 homers in the last 16 games. "I like to make it tough on the pitcher, knowing that I can hit a home run. But at the same time, I'll take my hits, too. I was just glad that the actual RBI that broke the record meant something."

The Angels' career RBI leader had a run-scoring single that triggered a four-run rally in the fifth inning and added a two-run homer in the eighth, breaking the previous franchise mark of 10 consecutive games with an RBI that was shared by Fred Lynn and Wally Joyner.

Lynn had his streak of 10 games with an RBI in 1984 and finished that season with 79 in 142 games. Joyner had his run in 1986 and finished with 100 in 154 games. Anderson has only 68 this year, but he missed 46 games during two stints on the disabled list.

"As I've said all along, there's a lot of great players who played in this organization that just didn't play as long as I have," Anderson said. "It's just a tribute to my being here for my whole career. That's really what I attribute it to, because I have a lot of respect for the players who were here before me."

Anderson has 21 RBI during his streak, which began five games after he set another team record with 10 RBI in an 18-9 victory over the Yankees on Aug. 21. The three-time All-Star, who leads the majors with 56 RBI since the All-Star break, was moved from the cleanup spot to the No. 3 hole Thursday after right fielder Vladimir Guerrero was scratched because of inflammation in his right triceps.

Kelvim Escobar (16-7) allowed three runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking three.

Casey Kotchman broke out of a 4-for-33 skid with two hits and three RBI for the Angels, who increased their AL West lead over the idle Seattle Mariners to eight games and matched their largest margin of the season.

Cleveland lost for the second time in 13 games, reducing its AL Central lead to six games over Detroit.

Anderson's record-breaking RBI came against former teammate Paul Byrd (14-6) and cut Cleveland's lead to 4-3. Gary Matthews Jr. followed with an infield hit and Byrd allowed two-out RBI singles by Anderson and Kendry Morales. The four-run rally began when Jeff Mathis was hit by a pitch on the right hand.

When Anderson got to first base on his RBI single, the crowd of 41,720 gave him a standing ovation and he acknowledged the fans by doffing his helmet.

"He's just a quiet superstar," Byrd said. "He never draws attention to himself. He could be a bigger name if he did that, but he doesn't. He just goes about his business very quietly and very gentlemanly. He's on my all-underrated team."

Byrd then walked Maicer Izturis before Kotchman chased him with a two-run double. The right-hander was charged with five runs and eight hits over 4 2/3 innings after winning his previous four starts.

"It wasn't what I had in mind, coming back to Anaheim and pitching against some of my buddies. It was a nightmarish inning," Byrd said. "They're hot right now. Any mistake I made, they hit hard. It's a shame everything came with two outs. I just needed to make a pitch there and just could not get the ball down. I didn't help myself out by hitting Mathis to lead off that inning."

The Indians grabbed a 4-2 lead with a pair of fifth-inning runs. Franklin Gutierrez put them ahead with his 11th homer, ending an 0-for-14 drought. Travis Hafner doubled and scored on Victor Martinez's bloop RBI single.

Cleveland opened the scoring in the third on Kelly Shoppach's RBI double. Escobar then issued a pair of two-out walks before fanning Martinez on a splitter with the bases loaded.

"The key for me was being able to minimize damage," Escobar said. "You just have to stay within yourself, not give in and keep making good pitches."

The Angels tied it in the bottom half with Matthews' run-scoring single, only the second RBI for Matthews in his first 24 at-bats on this homestand. The other came on a leadoff homer Monday night against Oakland.

Copyright 2017 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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With 31 RBI in his past 16 games, can anyone in Anaheim be more popular than Garret Anderson? (AP)
With 31 RBI in his past 16 games, can anyone in Anaheim be more popular than Garret Anderson? (AP)

Players of the Game

G. Anderson
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

C. Kotchman
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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April 21, 2017
This weekend in baseball: AL Central (1:19)
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4000022 .272
   a- Ben Francisco, PH1000010 .271
Franklin Gutierrez, RF3121110 .270
Travis Hafner, DH3110111 .260
Victor Martinez, 1B4011024 .304
Jhonny Peralta, SS3010111 .270
Casey Blake, 3B4010003 .268
Kenny Lofton, LF4110010 .303
Kelly Shoppach, C3011021 .275
   b- Luis Rivas, PH1000000 .000
Josh Barfield, 2B3010001 .245
   c- Andy Marte, PH1000010 .176
a-struck out for Sizemore in the 9th
b-fouled out for Shoppach in the 9th
c-struck out for Barfield in the 9th
2B - Travis Hafner (21, Escobar), Kenny Lofton (24, Escobar), Kelly Shoppach (12, Escobar)
HR - Franklin Gutierrez (11, Escobar)
RBI - Franklin Gutierrez (28), Victor Martinez (101), Kelly Shoppach (27)
2-OUT RBI - Franklin Gutierrez (11), Victor Martinez (39)
SB - Josh Barfield (14, 2nd base off Oliver/Mathis)
CS - Franklin Gutierrez (1, 2nd base by Speier/Mathis)
Team LOB - 7
E - Josh Barfield (14, Dropped fly)
Cleveland Indians
Paul Byrd (L,14-6) 4.2855150 4.34
Jensen Lewis 0.2111010 3.20
Aaron Fultz 1222110 3.19
Edward Mujica 0.1200000 8.31
Juan Lara 1.1222121 13.50
HBP - Mathis (by Paul Byrd)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 82-55, Jensen Lewis 15-10, Aaron Fultz 19-12, Edward Mujica 8-6, Juan Lara 25-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 5-4, Aaron Fultz 1-1
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 24, Jensen Lewis 3, Aaron Fultz 6, Edward Mujica 3, Juan Lara 7
Los Angeles Angels
Gary Matthews Jr., CF5121013 .259
Orlando Cabrera, SS5121022 .310
Garret Anderson, LF5233002 .298
Kendry Morales, DH5121011 .326
Maicer Izturis, 3B2100311 .274
    Chone Figgins, PR-3B0000000 .335
Casey Kotchman, 1B5123002 .291
Howie Kendrick, 2B5011044 .321
Jeff Mathis, C3210001 .248
Reggie Willits, RF4120001 .294
2B - Casey Kotchman 2 (33, Byrd, Fultz), Jeff Mathis (12, Lewis), Reggie Willits 2 (18, Byrd, Mujica)
HR - Garret Anderson (15, Lara)
RBI - Gary Matthews Jr. (72), Orlando Cabrera (78), Garret Anderson 3 (71), Kendry Morales (12), Casey Kotchman 3 (62), Howie Kendrick (28)
2-OUT RBI - Orlando Cabrera (28), Garret Anderson (20), Kendry Morales (4), Casey Kotchman 2 (17)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Kendrick-Kotchman
Los Angeles Angels
Kelvim Escobar (W,16-7) 5.2833381 3.04
Darren Oliver (H,5) 1100020 3.88
Justin Speier (H,19) 1.1000000 3.24
Scot Shields 1000020 3.92
Pitches-Strikes - Kelvim Escobar 109-68, Darren Oliver 23-15, Justin Speier 11-9, Scot Shields 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kelvim Escobar 5-3, Justin Speier 1-2
Batters Faced - Kelvim Escobar 27, Darren Oliver 4, Justin Speier 3, Scot Shields 3
Game Information
Attendance - 41720
Game Time - 3:17
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Tom Hallion