Belliard gave Cleveland the lead with his first homer of the season, a three-run shot in the eighth inning off Francisco Rodriguez, and the Indians rallied from four runs down to beat the Anaheim Angels 9-6 Friday night.
David Riske (2-2) got the win with an eventful inning of one-hit relief, after Guillen homered on the right-hander’s 3-0 pitch in the seventh to increase Anaheim’s lead to 6-4.
Riske didn’t like the way Guillen left the batter’s box, and he shouted at Guillen as he rounded the bases. Guillen kept glaring at Riske with his mouth shut before crossing the plate. Both dugouts and bullpens emptied, but no punches were thrown.
“Guillen crushed the ball, and I just felt like I was shown up a little bit,” Riske said. “But it’s no big deal. We got our team fired up and got the win, and that’s what I’m happy about.”
Guillen has had his share of staredowns with opposing pitchers because of the way they pitch him inside—he’s been hit seven times this season. But this was a little different.
“I saw him staring at me. I just didn’t like the way he was looking at me. I don’t know if it was because I swung on 3-0 or because of the way I was running the bases,” Guillen said.
“The problem is right now that people are going to look at it like I’m the bad guy,” added Guillen, who saw the replay in the clubhouse after the game. “They’ll watch it on TV and see Jose Guillen staring at the pitcher. They don’t show him staring at me.”
Travis Hafner, who was 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs, greeted Rodriguez (1-1) with a leadoff single in the eighth, and Ben Broussard was hit in the foot by a pitch one out later. Belliard then drove a 2-1 slider into the left-field bullpen to put Cleveland ahead.
“I was just trying to get a base hit,” Belliard said. “My at-bat before that, they threw me a lot of fastballs and finished with a slider. So I went up there looking for one pitch. He hung it and I hit it good.”
Rodriguez had not allowed a home run this season in 29 innings before this appearance. He interrupted his warmup throws in the bullpen to join his teammates on the field after Guillen’s homer, but wouldn’t use that as an excuse for what happened to him.
“My stuff was the same,” Rodriguez said. “But when you don’t make your pitch, they’re going to hurt you—especially when you’re behind in the count.”
Batterymate Jose Molina is confident that Rodriguez will shake off this defeat quickly.
“You don’t expect someone like Frankie, with his slider, to leave the ball hanging. But that happens sometimes,” said Molina, who threw out two runners trying to steal and picked another off first base. “He’s not perfect. But it’s nothing to worry about. He’s going to come back tomorrow and do his thing.”
Mondesi, who homered and threw out a runner at the plate Thursday night in the opener of this four-game series, leaped above the fence in left-center in the fourth inning to pull back Alex Escobar’s drive.
Indians starter Jason Davis allowed five runs—four earned—and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Cleveland narrowed the gap to 5-4 in the fifth with an RBI double by Victor Martinez and a two-run single by Hafner, who led off the second with his eighth home run. All but one of his 41 RBIs have come as a designated hitter, the most by any DH in the majors.
Anaheim responded in its half of the second with an RBI triple by Figgins,who scored on Jeff DaVanon’s single for a 4-1 lead.
Davis threw a pitch behind Vladimir Guerrero’s head, but it struck the bat for a foul ball. … DaVanon, a reserve outfielder who got a chance to play regularly because of Garret Anderson’s back problems, has hit safely in a career-best nine straight games. … Angels SS and leadoff hitter DavidEckstein sat out after straining his right hamstring Thursday night.