CLEVELAND – As it often does, it came down to starting pitching Wednesday night at Progressive Field.
The Angels got a quality outing from right-hander Jered Weaver, while the Indians got the opposite from Jeanmar Gomez.
The end result was a predictable 7-0 loss for Cleveland, which managed just two hits on the night and was shut out for an American League-leading 15th time on the season.
“Gomez didn’t have it today,” said Indians manager Manny Acta of the 22-year-old right-hander, who allowed seven runs on seven hits and three walks in just three innings. “He threw barely over 50 percent of his pitches for strikes. He’s a guy that lives on his sinker and he couldn’t even throw that for strikes.
“When he doesn’t have his sinker working, it’s not a good thing for him.”
Gomez labored early and often, allowing all of the Angels’ runs within the first two innings.
He got two outs in the first without a run crossing the plate, but then proceeded to allow the next five hitters to reach base – three on walks – as the Angels scored four times.
It didn’t get any better in the second, with third baseman Jayson Nix committing an error on the first batter of the inning and Gomez allowing three consecutive RBI hits to put the Indians in a seven-run hole.
“My fastball was a little up and I was behind the hitters in the count,” Gomez said. “I try to learn from my mistakes and keep focused on the next start.”
Weaver was in control from the start, retiring the first 11 hitters he faced before Shin-Soo Choo broke up the no-hitter with a two-out single in the fourth. He allowed just one hit and struck out seven over seven innings.
“He just overmatched us for seven innings,” Acta said. “He had a lot of action on his pitches. We couldn’t even hit the ball out of the infield against him. He was really good.”
After allowing the hit to Choo, Weaver returned to his dominant self, retiring the last 10 batters he faced.
“He was pretty darn good,” said Cleveland first baseman Matt LaPorta, who struck out twice in his only at-bats off Weaver. “He was hitting his spots and throwing all three pitches for strikes. He went out there and did a great job.
“I was watching a lot of video of him but it didn’t prepare me for the game. He just had one of those great nights.”
Weaver helped pad Cleveland’s dubious shutout total, which is one shy of the major league-lead of 16 held by the Dodgers.
“It happens in baseball,” LaPorta said of being blanked. “It’s tough. It’s frustrating.”
Cleveland’s pitching improved vastly after two innings with Gomez and three relievers – Justin Germano, Frank Herrmann and Jensen Lewis — combining to retire 21 straight hitters to finish the game
Michael Brantley got one of the Indians’ hits, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games with a single in the ninth inning.
It is the longest streak of the season for a Cleveland player and the longest by an Indians rookie since Cory Snyder hit in 17 straight games in 1986. It is also the longest current streak in the majors.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or email@example.com.