Tribe downs Angels

Published 1:42 am Monday, June 13, 2016

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Francisco Lindor and the Cleveland Indians got off to another quick start on their way to another victory in what’s shaping up to be a memorable month.

Lindor homered and drove in three runs in the first two innings, and the Indians pounded another Angels starter in an 8-3 victory over Los Angeles on Sunday.

Carlos Santana hit two homers and drove in three more runs for the AL Central leaders, who took two of three at the Big A on their way to Kansas City and their first visit of the season to the defending World Series champion Royals.

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The Indians (35-27) have won nine of 12 in June with uniformly strong play, keeping the division lead they took over the Royals during the clubs’ last series. They’ve won six of seven over Kansas City already this year, and the Indians warmed up for the next meeting by battering the slumping Angels yet again.

“The team is doing the little things the right way,” Lindor said. “We’re pushing each other. We’re holding each other accountable, and we’re having fun as teammates, as friends. I couldn’t be happier for us.”

Lindor’s three hits after a rare day off included a solo shot in the first and a bases-loaded single during Cleveland’s four-run second, chasing David Huff (0-2).

“It makes us enjoy the game a little more,” Lindor said of another early lead. “We’re not going to score that many runs every day, but we know what we’re capable of doing.”

Danny Salazar (7-3) pitched three-hit ball into the sixth with eight strikeouts, earning his third victory in four starts.

Jefry Marte hit his third homer in five games for the Angels, but their starter couldn’t escape the second inning for the second time in three games against Cleveland’s opportunistic lineup.

“Kind of like it was in the first game (of the series) — get a lead, hold on,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “We did a good job early.”

Mike Trout left the game in the eighth inning with a bruised right thumb after getting hit by a pitch from Cleveland reliever Tommy Hunter. X-rays showed no broken bones for the 2014 AL MVP, and he hopes to play Monday.

Los Angeles dropped back to a season-worst nine games below .500 (27-36). The Angels have lost six of seven in a season that’s slipping away — and might include yet another injury.

Trout had a single and two walks before wincing in pain and eventually leaving after Hunter’s inside pitch hit him in his extended thumb, leaving the finger completely numb.

“It kind of scared me a little bit,” Trout said. “It feels all right now.”

Huff, who made his major league debut with Cleveland in 2009, wasn’t sharp in his second fill-in start in the Angels’ injury-plagued rotation. The Southern California native yielded five hits and five runs while getting just five outs.

“Our bullpen has been a little taxed, and I put them right back into a bad spot,” Huff said. “It’s frustrating and disappointing.”

Injuries to Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, C.J. Wilson, Tyler Skaggs and Nick Tropeano have forced the team to use stopgaps like Huff while waiting for new signee Tim Lincecum’s return to the majors, which could happen in the next week.

After missing one start with shoulder fatigue, Salazar returned in strong form despite control problems. He didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning, striking out six of seven batters during one stretch.

Mike Napoli added a run-scoring single for Cleveland in the seventh, giving him 40 RBIs in 58 games against his former team.


Indians: 3B Juan Uribe left the field on a cart in the fourth inning with a testicular contusion after Trout’s grounder hit him squarely in the groin.

Angels: Heaney and Richards will have MRI exams later this month to determine whether their torn elbow ligaments are healing without surgery, manager Mike Scioscia said.


Indians: Carlos Carrasco (2-1, 3.48 ERA) takes the mound Monday night in the series opener at Kansas City, the final stop on this 10-game road trip.

Angels: Jered Weaver (5-5, 5.56 ERA) hopes to bounce back from a rough outing at Yankee Stadium when the Minnesota Twins visit the Big A on Monday night.