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Angels Host Indians, Cling To Playoff Hopes

(Sports Network) - With their postseason fate hanging by a thread, the LA Angels of Anaheim look to stop a four-game home losing streak tonight in the second portion of a three-game series versus the Cleveland Indians.

The Angels are 9 1/2 games behind Texas for the American League West lead, but 14 losses over the last 20 games have put a damper on their playoff hopes. In Monday's 3-2 loss in the series opener, Dan Haren allowed two runs in seven innings for the no-decision, while Fernando Rodney was dealt the loss for surrendering Shin-Soo Choo's RBI single in the top of the ninth.

"Other than the three uncharacteristic walks in the sixth, [Haren] pitched well," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We just didn't support him."

Haren had control issues in the sixth, walking three straight after Jayson Nix's two-out double. Torii Hunter homered and Alberto Callaspo drove in a run for Anaheim, which got two hits from Hunter and Mike Napoli in defeat.

Anaheim will hand the ball to Trevor Bell this evening and he's 2-4 with a 4.85 earned run average in 24 games (6 starts) this season. Bell is coming off last Wednesday's win at Seattle and limited the hosts to two runs on nine hits through six innings.

Bell also struck out six Mariners and will face Cleveland for the second time in his career Tuesday. The right-hander defeated the Indians back on August 18 of last season, allowing three runs over 5 1/3 frames of a 5-4 win.

Meanwhile, Cleveland has alternated wins and losses over its previous six games and got back into the victory column thanks to Choo's run-scoring single in the ninth inning. Choo is batting .429 in his career at the Big A.

Shelley Duncan and Luis Valbuena were each credited with an RBI for the Indians, who got six strong innings out of young starter Carlos Carrasco. The righty held the Angels to two runs in six innings.

"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."

Jensen Lewis earned the win by getting the final out in the eighth inning and Chris Perez recorded his 19th save in the ninth.

Justin Masterson will handle pitching duties for the Tribe Tuesday, and he's only 5-12 with a 5.04 earned run average in 27 starts this season. Masterson did not record a decision the last time out in a 4-3 loss to the White Sox on August 31, despite getting reached for only one run in 7 2/3 innings.

The righty, who is just 2-7 in 14 road starts this season, will make his seventh career appearance against the Halos. In six lifetime matchups, three of which have been starts, Masterson is 1-0 with a 3.13 ERA.

The Angels took two of three at home over the Indians back in April and have won six of the last nine overall meetings.