The Cleveland Indians were pleased with their long-awaited home opener— even if it was played in Milwaukee.
The Indians hope to pull off another victory in their adopted stadium as they continue their three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels at Miller Park on Wednesday.
This series was moved to Milwaukee after a spring snowstorm in Cleveland wiped out four scheduled games against the Seattle Mariners. The Indians won’t have any postponements for this series thanks to Miller Park’s retractable roof as weather forecasts are calling for 8 to 10 inches of snow to blanket the Milwaukee area throughout Wednesday.
“It’s not the most comfortable thing to do to pack up and leave and play a home game somewhere else, but right now it’s the most logical thing to do,” Indians reliever Roberto Hernandez said.
Cleveland (3-1) seemed to take to its temporary home park in Tuesday’s opener, beating Los Angeles 7-6. Casey Blake and Kelly Shoppach each homered for the Indians, who had not played since April 5 against the Chicago White Sox.
“It wasn’t that weird,” said starter C.C. Sabathia, who gave up three runs, one earned, in seven innings. “We were playing a home game somewhere else.”
Cleveland took two of three in Chicago in their first series of the season.
The Angels (4-3) rallied for two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth, but pinch-runner Erick Aybar was thrown out trying to steal second by Shoppach to end the game. Aybar was also thrown out trying to steal second to end Thursday’s 4-3 loss to Oakland, and manager Mike Scioscia said the decision was left to Aybar on both plays.
“But I wouldn’t have given him the option if we didn’t have a good chance to be successful,” Scioscia said.
The Angels opened the season with a seven-game homestand, sweeping Texas in three games before splitting a four-game series with the Athletics.
Jake Westbrook (0-0, 12.60 ERA) will look to help lead the Indians to the series victory on Wednesday. He was roughed up in his first start of the season last Wednesday, allowing seven runs and two homers in five innings as the Indians held on for an 8-7 win over the Chicago White Sox.
“It was a frustrating day in the sense that I felt good, I felt like I was locating my pitches,” he said. “I just made some mistakes that cost a lot of runs.”
Westbrook is 2-4 with a 3.27 ERA in six career starts against the Angels, but threw a nine-hit shutout in his last start against them on Aug. 9. His only other start at Miller Park came on June 17, when he allowed an unearned run in eight innings without receiving a decision in the Indians’ 3-2 loss to the Brewers.
The Angels will hand the ball to Joe Saunders (0-0, 4.76), who gave up three runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings of the Angels’ 4-3 loss to Oakland on Thursday. The 25-year-old left-hander is starting the season in the Angels’ rotation along with Dustin Moseley because of injuries to Bartolo Colon and Jered Weaver.
Saunders’ only previous start against the Indians came on July 18, when he gave up one earned run in seven innings of a 7-5 win. He has never pitched in Miller Park.