Yasiel Puig and Carlos Santana each drove in a pair of runs and Mike Clevinger tossed 6 1/3 strong innings as the host Cleveland Indians posted a 7-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. Roberto Perez belted a solo homer and Jose Ramirez had an RBI double for the Indians, who have won 13 of their last 14 home games versus Los Angeles.
Mike Trout launched his American League-leading 36th homer and Matt Thaiss had a pinch-hit two-run double in the ninth inning for the Angels, who have lost six of their last eight contests. After Trout opened the scoring in the top of the first, Cleveland answered with its first five batters reaching base in the bottom of the inning against opener Taylor Cole (1-2).
Francisco Lindor worked a four-pitch walk and rookie Oscar Mercado and Santana each singled to forge a tie before Puig muscled a pitch to the left-centre field to give Cleveland a 2-1 lead. Ramirez ripped an RBI double to right field before Cole exited one batter later after one-third of an inning, but Jason Kipnis' groundout against Dillon Peters plated Puig to cap the four-run uprising.
The Indians tacked on two more runs in the second inning following Santana's sacrifice fly and Puig's single through the shift to right field to claim a 6-1 advantage. Perez deposited a 3-2 fastball from Peters over the wall in the right-centre field with one out in the third inning. Perez's homer extended his career-high total to 19 this season, with three coming in the last three games.
The offensive outburst was more than enough for Clevinger (6-2), who improved to 5-0 in his last six starts after allowing one run on three hits. The 28-year old also struck out eight to up his mark to 4-0 in six career starts versus the Angels. Clevinger's lone mistake came in the first inning, as Trout sent a first-pitch fastball over the wall in left field for his second homer in as many games.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona returned to the dugout after missing Thursday's game following surgery for a tear in his retina.
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