Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) – Shin-Soo Choo’s single in the ninth inning scored Michael Brantley with the game-winning run, as Cleveland opened a three-game set against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim with a 3-2 victory.
Jayson Nix went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the win, which was credited to Jensen Lewis (4-2) for striking out Mike Napoli to end the eighth.
Chris Perez closed it out with a perfect ninth for his 19th save for the Indians, who had won just two of eight coming into the game.
Torii Hunter homered for the Angels, who were returning from a 3-3 road trip.
Neither starter factored in the decision despite quality starts. Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco, in his second outing this season, allowed six hits and two runs while striking out six in as many frames, while Dan Haren also gave up a pair of runs on five hits and four walks in seven innings of work.
“I felt I had command of my fastball. I was throwing strikes,” Carrasco said. “I wanted to stay in the game, but I threw too many pitches.”
Fernando Rodney (4-2) entered in the ninth with the score tied, 2-2, and got two quick outs before yielding a double to Brantley and plunking Asdrubal Cabrera. Choo then poked a base hit to right to bring in the speedy leadoff hitter with the game-deciding tally.
In the first inning, Carrasco struck out Napoli to leave the bases loaded, and Cleveland’s offense got the 23-year-old righty the lead in the fourth when Travis Hafner doubled, moved to third on Nix’s base hit and scored on Shelley Duncan’s sacrifice fly.
LA tied it in the fifth when Peter Bourjos tripled into the left-field corner and scored on Alberto Callaspo’s base hit to right.
Haren had control issues in the sixth, walking three straight after Nix’s two- out double.
“Other than the three uncharacteristic walks in the sixth, [Haren] pitched well,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We just didn’t support him.”
The last walk was a four-pitch free pass to Luis Valbuena that forced in a run, which Hunter got back in the bottom half by finding the first row of seats in right-center for his 20th home run of the season.
Haren has gone 2-4 in nine starts with the Angels…Hunter has recorded at least 20 home runs for the past five years…Napoli had two doubles, while Bobby Abreu stole his 19th base for the Angels…Choo swiped his 18th bag.